KAKINADA: Residents of the five-storeyed apartment complex - Bhaskara Estate - here are literally on the road, with officials evacuating them from their flats following damage to three pillars resulting in the building leaning to one side.
Experts from the JNTU, who inspected the building, said it was unsafe for living. Soon after the precarious condition of the apartment located near Devi Multiplex was noticed on Thursday evening, municipal authorities and police evacuated the families.
Fearing for their lives, all the 40 families rushed out and spent the night with their relatives and friends. Bhaskara Estate was constructed in 2005 by Victory Constructions.
On Friday morning, the residents returned to the building and staged a protest for not being given sufficient time to take their valuables and medicines.
M Ramakrishna, a visually impaired telephone operator at the Government General Hospital, who lives with his wife and two children in one of the flats, said they did not take valuables and even medicines with them.
“I do not know what to do. We request the authorities to do justice to my family. I had bought the flat for `25 lakh three years ago. I am worried about the hard-earned money that I invested in the flat if the building collapses,” he lamented.
“That is my hard-earned money. They are asking us to vacate. Fine. We will move out, but what will happen if the building collapses? Who will compensate us?” questioned S Jogeswara Rao, another flat owner.
CM Jagan’s query
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired with the district collector about the situation and instructed the officials to keep him updated.
The civic officials have asked the people living near the apartment to move to a safe place
He purchased the flat for Rs 20 lakh five years ago. He urged the State government to step in and do justice to them.
District collector Muralidhar Reddy, who went to the spot along with Kakinada Municipal Commissioner Ramesh, MLA Dwarmpudi Chandrasekhar Reddy, tried to pacify the irate residents.
Later, speaking to media persons, he said they evacuated families from the building as a precautionary measure.
“Three pillars of the building on the south side have been damaged. As a temporary measure, we have reinforced them with wooden and iron girders. To suggest a permanent solution, we have asked JNTU professors to inspect the place. We have taken note of the residents’ complaint and decided to allow one person at a time with the help of fire service personnel to enter the building to retrieve medicines and valuables,” he explained.
A team of professors from JNTU led by Prof V Ravindra, HoD of Civil Engineering department, inspected the building and declared it unsafe.
“It is not safe, as not just three foundation pillars, but other parts of the building also has sustained damage. Rot was observed in the steel rods used in the construction of the pillars,” he said.
It has been decided to consult experts from Mumbai in the next 15 days to seek their advice on whether to retrofit the building or demolish it.
If they suggest retrofitting the building, it would cost Rs 80 lakh per floor, and Rs 5 crore for the entire building.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy enquired with the district collector about the situation and instructed the officials to keep him updated.
The city administration has also alerted the people living in houses near the apartment.