The recent collapse of the City Light Hotel in Secunderabad seems to have spurred the hitherto-apathetic municipal corporations and municipalities in the East and West Godavari districts with regard to the old and dilapidated buildings on the verge of collapse.
Having turned a blind eye to the danger posed by such buildings all these years, the municipal corporations and municipalities have now started the process of identifying such buildings.
Initial estimates have revealed that there are about 900 old buildings deserving demolition in East Godavari district and about 700 to 800 such buildings in West Godavari district.
A team of engineers of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Kakinada and the Roads and Buildings Department had advised the municipal authorities to demolish the old and dilapidated buildings in the district, but the latter had chosen to ignore the advice. This is attributed to the corruption among the city planning wings of the municipal corporations and municipalities. Now, after City Light Hotel collapse incident in Secunderabad, the officials have identified a few old and dilapidated buildings and started issuing show-cause notices to their owners for their demolition. The identification process will be completed in a week, according to officials of city planning wing of the Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation.
In Rajahmundry and Dowleswaram in East Godavari district, there are about 200 buildings which were constructed 125 years ago. In Kakinada in the same district, there are 100-odd such old buildings.
In Rajahmundry, the old municipal council hall, constructed in 1853, partially collapsed last year. Following this, the revenue department office was shifted to another building. But, the chambers of the municipal commissioner, additional commissioner and the citizen charter wing still remain in the same building.
Sir Arthur Cotton had constructed many buildings 150 years ago in Rajahmundry and Dowleswaram, many of which are in a really bad condition. Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam Junior College, the Government College and the government high school, which were constructed 100 years ago, are also in a plight.