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A dozen dead in Secunderabad building collapse, opposition slams Andhra govt

Jul 08, 2013 06:43 PM IST India India

Secunderabad: The death toll of 12 at the City Light Hotel collapse in Secunderabad exposes the loopholes in the action part of the government of Andhra Pradesh. But the issues with dilapidated buildings in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are not different from the ones across the country.

Tragedy struck Secunderabad after the City Light Hotel collapsed, leaving a dozen dead and many others injured. The dilapidated structure was one of the city's oldest buildings.

"Around 4 am, the building collapsed. We don't know the reason behind this. Rescue work is going on," the police said. There are over 700 such old buildings which have been identified by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) as ruined.

But despite the government's own admission that more than 200 such structures pose life-risk, there has been no preventive action. "This is the oldest building in the city. About 80 years old. The Chief Minister (Kiran Kumar Reddy) should be answerable to whatever has happened in the past and also the present," said Chandrababu Naidu, TDP President and leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh.

The government has said the City Light Hotel had passed all the requisite fitness tests. The government has now pinned all the blame on excessive heat being generated in the hotel.

Locals said the hotel management turned a blind eye to the demolition notice given to it. "We identified 57 buildings and also gave them a notice. In the future, buildings which are more than 60 years, we will give them a notice to renovate them. It is the negligence of the owner of the building. Because of increase in the heat of the building, it collapsed," said GV Raghu, City Planning Commissioner.

The collapse of City Light Hotel is just an example where it passed government's fitness test yet collapsed like a pack of cards. And alarmingly, the phenomenon is not just limited to Hyderabad, it is pan India. But in the present context, it has to be seen how fast GHMC acts in bringing down the dilapidated buildings in the twin cities.