HYDERABAD: The collapse of a 100-year-old multistoried building in Mumbai on Tuesday, trapping several underneath and resulting in at least 11 deaths, has once again brought the spotlight to the issue of decades-old buildings unfit for human occupancy. Going by the official data, as many as 466 old buildings in the city are currently in a dilapidated stage and stand ready to collapse during rains.
In order to avoid Mumbai-like incidents, the GHMC conducts a pre-monsoon drive every year to raze old and dilapidated structures. The said works, however, are going on at a snail’s pace at the moment. Apart from this, despite being banned for the entire monsoon season, excavation of cellars are being done in multiple places of the city. This is mostly in West zone areas, where large-scale construction activities are taking place. The Town Planning wing of the GHMC had newly identified about 331 structures in the city as dilapidated this year.
This was in addition to the existing 434 dilapidated buildings from the previous years, taking the total to 765. Fortunately, the corporation has already demolished 167 of these structures, while 132 have either been vacated or repaired by the owner. Now, 466 buildings are pending.
The GHMC has slapped notices on the owners and tenants residing in these old buildings, asking them to vacate the unsafe buildings. Or else the corporation would evict them, as the lives of these citizens are important to the GHMC, the notices had stated. The GHMC has also launched a drive to demolish the dilapidated buildings in all the 30 GHMC circles.
Excavation of cellars
Though clear instructions were issued that no excavation of cellars should be done during the monsoon season, many builders and developers are learnt to be still carrying out the same. Based on the complaints received, cellar works were stopped at the initial stages in three spots