The ‘bhatti’ was reportedly constructed for cooking haleem

A multitude of factors led to the tumbling down of the City Light Hotel and Bakery on Monday. The death knell for the pillar-less ground plus single floor building, constructed more than 50 years ago with lime and mortar, began with the seepage of water through its first floor roof atop which an overhead tank is located, police officials observed.

This along with the construction of brick kilns (‘bhattis’) on the floor to make ‘haleem’ had increased the load on the walls of the building. Two kilns were built and nearly 1,000 bricks were kept ready to construct more such kilns on top. “These low quality bricks were heavy and adding more weight are the huge iron vessels (handis) used for preparing the haleem. The slab simply gave away with such a load piling on it,” said a police investigator. Janardhan, a nearby resident, maintained three rolling shutters were added to the building affecting its structural stability. “Pieces of the roof started falling off near the kitchen where the new shutter was placed indicating that it was damaged most at that point,” he said.

The hotel owner had reportedly taken up the construction of the “bhatti” (a kiln made of brick and mud) for cooking haleem.

GHMC chief’s claim

GHMC Commissioner T. Krishna Babu said the construction of the bhatti and the use of large quantities of water for it may have weakened the structure

He clarified that City Light Hotel was not among the old buildings issued notices by the GHMC. “It seemed to be a stable building,” he told reporters.

Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said the investigators would take the help of experts to ascertain facts and fix up responsibility. A case under Sections 304-A (rash and negligent act resulting in death) and 337 (causing critical wounds) of the IPC was registered against the hotel owner.

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