Sports store building unauthorised, owned by powerful politico

Update: 2023-01-20 18:50 GMT
Inmates of houses near the sports wear shop in Ramgopalpet which caught fire wait on the street, afraid that they may lose their homes and all their belongings in the fire. (File Photo:DC)

Hyderabad: The fire-stricken six-storey building in the overcrowded Ramgopalpet area is believed to be owned by a powerful politician of the ruling dispensation, and every attempt is being made to keep his name concealed.

Sources said the GHMC had approved the construction of a G+3 structure, but the builder chose to build six floors, breaching regulations and endangering the lives of several people. The building was not only built without permission, but it also lacked a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department.

The lack of the fire NoC is also being investigated, according to officials. Apart from the main floor, the building includes six additional floors, including two basement floors. “Fire has fully gutted the two basements and impacted the four floors besides the ground floor. The fifth and sixth floors are unoccupied,” said a fire official.

Sources claimed that the authorities are considering demolishing the structure in order to cover up the irregularities of the powerful politician. However, due to the building's structural soundness, they have not yet decided whether to demolish it or not.

The site was examined by specialists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal, and Malik Trading and Demolition at the request of the GHMC.

"The rear slabs of the first, second, and third floors have collapsed. It is not advisable to enter the building although the fire has been put out. We were able to rescue four people, but we are not sure how many more people are still trapped inside the building,” a firefighter said.

Firefighters have been unable to enter the building to fully extinguish the fire as dense smoke continued to emerge from the cellar. The authorities employed drones to conduct search operations.

Meanwhile, a steady stream of ministers and MLAs separately visited the site throughout the day, including Union minister G. Kishan Reddy and home minister Mahmood Ali. Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who is also the local MLA, directed officials to take stern action against violations.

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