Hyderabad: Apparently, authorities of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) care a hoot about directions given by minister K.T. Rama Rao. This is quite evident from no action being taken in identifying and demolishing a single dilapidated structure in the city limits, though there is every possibility of southwest monsoon picking up and posing a threat to these buildings, which may even lead to loss of lives.
Surprisingly, field level staff even ignored instructions of a top bureaucrat on expediting demolitions as per instructions of the minister.
It may be recalled that after a couple of wall collapses in the last week following rains, Rama Rao, the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) minister had asked GHMC to increase surveillance on old structures, evacuate people and demolish them in case they posed a threat to people. Following this, commissioner D. S. Lokesh Kumar asked officials to identify the dilapidated structures.
Incidentally, it is customary for town planning wing officials to annually identify dilapidated buildings, issue notices to their owners, get the premises vacated and demolish the structures. This year, however, no notice has so far been issued in this regard. This is despite corporation authorities circulating a paper that 377 such structures have been identified this year, in addition to 316 structures earmarked for demolition last year.
During last four years though, GHMC has razed nearly 1,400 old structures across the city.
When asked about the subject, senior GHMC executives, requesting anonymity, said that civic body officials have been not cooperating in identifying and demolishing the weak structures. One of them disclosed that corporation employees have been turning a blind eye to the top official's instructions, claiming his transfer is around the corner.
The official, however, maintained that 15 buildings have been demolished this year. Though more of the old buildings are to be demolished, works got delayed due to incessant rains. But it is these very incessant rains that cause such buildings to collapse.
The official clarified that they are stressing on staff to identify and demolish weak structures before any untoward incident happens....