Who’s to blame for falling buildings?

HYDERABAD: The collapse of a 60-year-old building in Monda market killing three unlucky vendors on Saturday raises the question of ownership of responsibility. Is it just the lackadaisical att

Published: 26th February 2012 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:03 PM   |  A+A-

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People crowding around the remnants of the collapsed building in Monda market on Saturday. | A Radhakrishna

HYDERABAD: The collapse of a 60-year-old building in Monda market killing three unlucky vendors on Saturday raises the question of ownership of responsibility. Is it just the lackadaisical attitude of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) towards demolishing dilapidated structures that is to be blamed or also the resistance from the people living in such buildings to move out? The GHMC had carried out a survey of buildings in the twin cities in 2006-2007 and had identified 735-740 buildings that were in danger of collapse due to structural damages.

But more than five years down the line, around 370, that is half, of these buildings, still stand.

The owners of 125 buildings undertook repairs and around 244 were demolished by GHMC.

The rest could not be demolished due to reluctance of the residents to move out or disputes between owners and tenants.

Many disputes are still in court.

Meanwhile, the GHMC only issues sporadic, halfhearted warnings to the residents from time to time.

Once the heat, generated by incidents such as Saturday’s, subsides, its back to the regular routine.

The previous GHMC commissioner Sameer Sharma had issued directions to do away with these life-hazards.

But Sharma got transferred and the officials set aside his orders.

In the meanwhile, innocent people like the vendors who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, lose their lives.

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