Engineering a tragedy?
By Rahul V Pisharody / ENS - HYDERABAD
09th August 2012 09:22 AM
Lack of coordination between the town planning and the engineering wings of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is assuming alarming proportions and if things go this way, people’s lives could be in danger.
The town planning wing had identified 198 dilapidated buildings in the twin cities last month and decided to demolish them in public interest. Though its officials claim to have demolished 42 buildings till date, they also admit a serious lack of coordination with the engineering wing at the zonal level.
A senior town planning official, who wished not to be named, said, “there is absolutely no coordination and support from the engineering wing. We have identified the structures based on visual observation but we need the engineering wing’s certification for going ahead with the demolition without any legal complications.” Throwing up his hands helplessly, he pointed out that they had conducted many review meetings at the zonal level and also informed GHMC commissioner about the problem without any result.
If such was the case, how could they bring down the 42 structures? “We went ahead with forceful demolition wherever possible, especially in the case of the most dangerous structures,” he replied. He also believed that there could be more number of unidentified buildings on the verge of collapsing.
When contacted, GHMC chief engineer Dhan Singh admitted that “these are issues that prevail at the zonal level.” But he washed his hands of the matter, claiming that “unless it is brought to our notice, we cannot take action.”
At the zonal level, the officials appeared to be in denial. Central zone commissioner K Sivaparvathi completely denied any lack of coordination in four of her circles where dilapidated structures had been identified. “There are different stages of such a work. Our deputy commissioners are coordinating and supervising well with the town planning and engineering officials at the circles and the work is in progress,” she said.
The GHMC had identified 105 structures in three circles of south zone, which include 90 old buildings from circle number 4 and 5 of Charminar alone. Also 73 structures were identified in the central zone and 20 in the north zone. A total of 22 buildings have been demolished in the south zone and 12 repaired, whereas only 7 out of the 73 have been demolished in the central zone. These 198 structures were identified as dilapidated buildings apart from 400-odd old strutures in the city.
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