VISAKHAPATNAM: LEGAL hurdles and land disputes have made the GVMC turning a blind eye to the dilapidated buildings in the city, which could lead to loss of lives in case of collapse. Though the GVMC has identified 360-odd old buildings, it failed to demolish many due to the above reasons.
On July 26, a two-storey building caved in in the One Town. Fortunately, the building was lying vacant. GVMC sources said the building had a legal dispute and so it could not be demolished.
Such old buildings are a dime a dozen in the city. Around two years ago, the civic body had identified around 360 buildings for demolition owing to their dilapidated condition. The list includes Queen Mary’s Government High School for Girls, several buildings near Kurupam Market complex, and other areas of the city. Coincidentally, about 60 to 70 per cent of these buildings are in the One Town.
GVMC officials claim that though the instant solution is to demolish the structures, they are unable to do so due to legal issues and land disputes. “We have listed around 360 buildings which are not stable and issued notices. They have to strengthen them or else they have to give an explanation as to why they should not be demolished. But, many of the buildings are caught in legal disputes,” said GVMC chief city planner D Venkataratnam. According to him, the owner lives somewhere else and the court stays the demolitions. Meanwhile, some lands are being encroached upon and the cases are under probe.