AP government, GHMC begin examining dilapidated buildings

AP government, GHMC begin examining dilapidated buildings - Sakshi Post

The Andhra Pradesh government and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have begun a postmortem in the aftermath of the building collapse in Secunderabad, in which 12 people were killed today.

Incidentally, both institutions were indifferent when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointed to possible dangers in the form of dilapidated structures across the twin cities. In its latest report, the CAG identified 144 buildings to be in dilapidated condition in the GHMC jurisdiction.

Out of the 144, only five were demolished, the CAG said in its report tabled in the state assembly last month. Notices were issued to the remaining 139 buildings during 2004-12, but no action has been taken till date, though 53 were 'most dangerous condition and unsafe' for living, the CAG noted.

However, GHMC Commissioner M T Krishna Babu said today, after a review meeting with the AP Chief Minister, that 33 buildings were demolished in recent days out of the 307 buildings which were identified as dilapidated.

There are cases pending in courts with respect to 14 buildings. From tomorrow, we will start demolishing two dilapidated buildings per day in each GHMC circle, Krishna Babu said.

At the review meeting Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had after visiting the accident spot, it was decided to amend the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act to make it mandatory for all owners whose buildings are over 30-year-old to get these certified by empanelled engineers for structural stability.

We will also engage the engineering wing of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University for a third-party check on these buildings, the GHMC Commissioner said. Apart from the dilapidated structures, what is also causing concern is the growing number of illegal structures in the twin cities as well as the fast-expanding areas that now fall under GHMC.

As per a recent survey, around one-fourth of the buildings under construction have been identified as unauthorised and another one-fourth of the buildings are with major deviations with additional floors and set back deviations from the sanctioned plans.

In most cases, builders obtain stay orders from courts and prevent us from taking any action, a senior official of the GHMC City Planning wing said. He, however, agreed that the structural stability of such buildings also needed to be checked, because having more floors than sanctioned capacity could pose a danger. Following the City Light building collapse, the GHMC now deploys special teams to check highrises as well as major commercial complexes to ensure everything is safe. PTI




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