GHMC demolition drive faces hurdle
Hyderabad: The drive to pull down unsafe and dilapidated structures, that have the risk of crumbling down during the rains, has been hampered by the reluctance of owners to vacate the premises. As part of the monsoon drive and in view of the continuing heavy rains in the city, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been focusing on demolition of these unsafe structure to prevent possible untoward incidents. The GHMC Commissioner, B Janardhan Reddy had also directed the officials to ensure that old and dilapidated buildings are attended to on priority and the occupants are provided appropriate shelter.
However, the efforts of the civic body staff to get the occupants of these listed buildings have been going in vain with most not willing to move citing various reasons. This is even after the municipal corporation issuing notices to the owners well in advance. At many places, the occupants have been entering into arguments and even abusing the officials. “In some cases, owners are apprehensive that their buildings could end up in the hands of others,” said an official. This worry was expressed by some owners to the officials. “They argue that land grabbers eyeing the properties could occupy the premises once they are vacated. Assurances that the owners will be issued occupancy certificates too fail to convince them,” he said.
The problems being faced by the GHMC staff is also more with ancestral properties in areas such as Abids, Secunderabad, Karwan and Begum Bazar, where the old structures, are owned by third and fourth generations.
Such structures usually lack link documents and are either in dispute over the title among siblings or relatives. Authorities had identified over 2013 old and dilapidated structures, of which 1110 buildings have been cleared till date. Over 100 buildings have been repaired and rectified and over 800 have to be demolished and of these, nearly 175 are covered under court cases. Currently, over 600 structures are to be demolished. Among these, nearly 230 are in Secunderabad, 150 in Abids, 100 in Begum Bazar, around 50 in Karwan and Mehdipatnam.