Coming close on the heels of the collapse of an old hotel building in the state capital, the first floor of the 100-year-old structure - Ram Gopal Choultry - in Wynchpet area of the city, caved in on Wednesday morning. Luckily, there were no heavy casualties.
A rickshaw-puller, K Raju, who was injured in the incident, was shifted to the Government Hospital.
The structure was once used as a lodge for visitors to the choultry and was abandoned by the management four years ago. The choultry was run by the Endowments Department.
The collapsed block has residential portions in the ground floor and the upper portion with tiled roof was used as a lodge for the visitors.
The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) served notices on the choultry management two years ago directing it to vacate the families living in the ground floor. However, the families have been unwilling to vacate building as the rents are nominal.
The upper portion of building was weakened due to the frequent spells of heavy rain that lashed the city recently. However, the ground floor of the structure was not affected but it may collapse any time.
Four families living in the houses in the ground floor were not present when the building caved in.
VMC city planner S Chakrapani, Vijayawada urban tahsildar Siva Rao, engineering officials of the VMC and Endowment Department officials inspected the collapsed structure.
Chakrapani told Express that the VMC would hold talks with the Endowment Department and ask them to remove the other structures as there was a huge risk to the families living in the old and dilapidated houses.
Ram Gopal Choultry manager Y Hanimi Reddy said, “We are asking the tenants to vacate the houses but they are refusing to do so,” he added.