Residents of General Bazaar rue that the GHMC officials are not taking action, GHMC says that evacuation notices have been issued.
With the GHMC listing several of the dilapidated structures in General Bazaar, Secunderabad, the occupants pose questions as to why the municipal body raised the tax, if that was the case. Others blame the authorities for ignoring encroachment of the lane over the years that is now choking the bazaar.
One of the oldest markets on MG Road, General Bazaar, has been a favourite shopping destination for not only the women of Secunderabad but also for people visiting from the districts. Almost everything is available in this small lane connecting MG Road with RP Road.
During the festive season, this lane is packed with shoppers from all over the City to buy a variety of goods at wholesale prices.
A few years ago, General Bazaar was on the master plan, but the GHMC chose a better alternative for road widening, the Subash Road, which is yet to materialise. But some of the structures continue to be the underbelly of one of the oldest markets in Secunderabad, waiting to collapse at any time.
Several of the buildings on the wider stretch towards the RP Road, continue to be an eyesore for authorities. But it appears that the GHMC is reluctant to evacuate people from the buildings. One of the buildings houses an age-old clinic that serves patients from public and private organisations. The doctor continues to live inside the building despite of its poor condition. “It would not be a big surprise, if the structure
collapses,” notes M Satish, a businessman. Adjacent to the building is another dilapidated one whose frontal portion seems to evacuated, but the rear portion houses a big jewellery shop. Exactly opposite to this on the General Bazaar road, is a big building that also appears to be in a poor condition. In most of these buildings, it is the tenants who do not want to disturb their business prospects by shifting.
Stables in the past
As the General Bazaar road narrows, there are several small old structures that have been converted into jewellery shops. “These were once stables, the people living in houses near the Jagannath Temple availed this structures as stables,” says Krishna, a businessman.
According to him, these structures were occupied and later converted to suit their businesses. He directly blames the GHMC for failure to shape the General Bazaar into a modern day market.
Some of the businessmen prefer to remain tight-lipped about the issue, lest the issue proves detrimental to their prospects.
“People are constructing new buildings in the lane. I do not know, if there are any old ones,”says Osman, another old-timer.
However, the owner of a century-old structure near a temple is not sure if the GHMC has listed his building or not. While acknowledging that the structure might have lost its strength over the years, he asks that if the GHMC does not consider the old buildings fit, then why did they increase the tax for these buildings as well? “I had to pay double the amount than what I was paying,” says Sandeep Karda.
For another similar building close by, the owner points out that the structure is strong enough, as he had himself refurbished it. According to the shop owner, the building was made stronger by chipping away weak portions and replastering it with cement.
‘Notices have been given’
The GHMC officials wash their hands off in this case. “We have given notices to evacuate. Even a second notice was given,” said BV Ganghadhar Reddy, deputy municipal commissioner, Circle 18.