Five GHMC officials, including two Deputy Municipal Commissioners, an Assistant City Planner and two Section Officers are in the dock in the Narayanaguda building collapse case.
Thirteen persons were killed and six persons were injured when a three-storied building was being constructed after demolishing an old structure in February last year. Not only was the construction being done without taking permission, the engineering officials too later certified that the work quality was also bad.
The government has now decided to initiate disciplinary proceedings against DCs C.N. Raghu Prasad and Y. Sreekanth, SOs Mir Farooq Ali and E. Surender Reddy and ACP S. Sadanandam. The last three have been suspended by the GHMC soon after the incident. The five have been given 10 days' time to give their explanations in writing.
The building was lying adjacent to a school and the collapse sent the entire city into a tizzy as initially it was thought that some of the children were trapped in the rubble. Panic-stricken parents rushed to the site and their happiness knew no bounds when it was realised that all the schoolchildren were safe. The owner was trying to build the house in a 200-square yard plot and ironically, he was eligible to get official permission for constructing ground plus two floors if he had only applied. He had volunteered to give away 27 sq.yards for road widening during construction of the Narayanaguda flyover in the mid 90s and hence was eligible for a ground-plus-two structure.
Failure of supervision
Interestingly, a high-level team of senior officials headed by GHMC Commissioner Sameer Sharma which probed the incident had pointed out to failure of supervision and recommended the government to institute a third-party supervision of construction activity. It also suggested the architect concerned to give a status report whenever each floor is raised.
Other members of the panel were the then Hyderabad Collector Naveen Mittal, Additional Commissioner K. Dhananjaya Reddy, GHMC Chief Engineer R. Dhan Singh and Chief Engineer (Buildings) E. Babu Raj.
There was also a proposal to train rescue teams in disaster management with appropriate tools to cut cement slabs and thermal imaging cameras at the zonal level. But, little has been done on these fronts.