The civic body doesn’t have a procedure in place to identify dilapidated commercial buildings in the capital
Strange but true! The GHMC doesn’t have a procedure in place to identify dilapidated commercial buildings in the capital. A building is labelled as ‘dilapidated’ by its appearance or the façade. It is also the reason why the City Light Hotel, despite being almost a 60-year-old lime and mortar building, escaped the civic body radar.
GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu on Monday admitted that the present figure of 307 dilapidated buildings identified was based on their outside appearance and it could be just a tip of the iceberg.
“There could be more buildings like City Light Hotel urgently needing structural strengthening. From tomorrow, we are launching a massive drive to identify such buildings,” he told a press conference.
Municipal authorities have now decided to conduct structural stability inspections of commercial buildings based on three criteria. “Buildings more than 50 years old, those constructed with lime and mortar and structures with no pillars but with load bearing walls will be identified,” he said.
Mr. Krishna Babu said the engineers would visit each such building and take up a thorough investigation for structural integrity. “We are also seeking the help of JNTU,” he said. Owners would also be served notices to take up strengthening works.
Commercial activities would be allowed in such buildings only after certification by the JNTU engineers. Taking a leaf out of the Bruhan Mumbai Municipal Corporation, amendments are proposed in the GHMC Act making it mandatory for owners of 30-year-old commercial buildings to submit stability certificates issued by experts. “The certificate has to be renewed once every 10 years,” he said.
The Commissioner said, “It is high time owners of buildings of 50 years and more take up some responsibility and improve the structural integrity.”