HYDERABAD: The roof of a dilapidated house in Secunderabad collapsed on Sunday, killing a 14-month-old boy and injuring two other persons, including the child’s mother. The incident happened on Veeraiah Galli lane, in Sitaphalmandi, when three persons were in the house.
The child, Goutham, died while being treated in hospital, and his mother, Swathi, is said to be in a serious condition. The Chilkalguda police registered a case of suspicious death under Section 174 of the CrPC. The body has been taken to the mortuary for a post-mortem examination.
The front portion of the house had an RCC (reinforced concrete cement) slab on the ground floor, GHMC officials said after inspecting the premises, and added that the roof over a room built with a jack arch (Madras terrace roof with kiln lime mortar) had collapsed.
The rear portion of the house had a ground floor and first floor had a RCC roof, and was built 10 to 12 years ago. The front of the structure, too, had a RCC roof, and hence the GHMC officials couldn’t make out that it was an old house, they said. The residents had been living there as tenants for the past eight years. Secunderabad zonal commissioner Raghu Prasad visited the house in Sitaphalmandi along with the deputy commissioner, city planner, assistant city planner and section officer of Secunderabad zone.
The incident highlighted the slow pace at which dilapidated structures are being razed in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. Due to this, there are currently 450 old structures in the region that are ready to crumble in the present monsoon season. As on Sunday, 466 old buildings have already begun crumbling. Besides this, excavation of cellars, which is banned during the monsoon, is being undertaken in parts of the city, mostly in the West zone, where large-scale construction activities are going on. The town planning wing of the GHMC has identified 331 structures as dilapidated buildings in the city this year.
From previous years, the count of dilapidated buildings in the city was 434, taking the total to 765. Of them, the corporation has demolished 167, and 132 structures have either been vacated or repaired by the owner. The remaining 466 are to be demolished. The GHMC proposed to demolish them after slapping notices on the owners and tenants, asking them to vacate the unsafe buildings. If they fail to vacate, the corporation will evict. Between 2016 and 2018, GHMC demolished over 1,180 old structures — 485 in 2016, 294 in 2017, and 402 in 2018. This year, about 142 old structures have been razed and 38 have been sealed.