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Lansdowne road turns into free-for-all zone; no security measures

Sreekantswamy B Mysore: Feb 18, 2013
Is it safe : Vehicles occupy the left side of the road abutting Lansdowne Building in Mysore on Monday. dh photo

Five months have elapsed after the collapse of a part of historical Lansdowne building in the city, Mysore City Corporation’s (MCC) laissez-faire approach in taking up the renovation works has turned the once prohibited area into a free-for-all zone, thanks to no security measures.

Following the opening of make-shift complex on the opposite side of the building, business has resumed with usual hustle-bustle. Security to lives, especially that of visitors, has been given a toss  if gone by the reality.

Pavement

Beginning from the shop number one to the last in the ground floor, the pavement of the shop is occupied in  one way or the other. It is either in the form of parking vehicles or some of the shop workers making use of the vacant space.

What is horrifying to see is, barring the shop where the roof collapsed claiming four lives on August 25 last, which has been covered by barricades, the remaining portion of the complex remains accessible to all.

With no barricades in place between the building and make-shift complex, people have been utilising the road knowingly or unknowingly about the unsavoury incident associated with the structure. A risk, with the building in dilapidated state.

Following the incident, the area had been declared red alert. Accordingly it was prohibited putting barricades at the entry points; from Jagan Mohan Palace side and K R Circle side. Dedicated police personnel had been deputed to man the stretch. It’s on the vice-versa now.

What eludes launch of renovation works is, the dithering act of the government.
When the incident occurred, the government had formed a committee of experts; civil engineering expert and chairman of Civil Aid Technoclinic Limited, Bangalore, C S Viswanatha and Syed Shakib-Ur-Rehman also the vice-principal of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE), and chief executive officer of Indian Heritage City Network-Foundation (IHCN-F) V Govindan Kutty.

Reconstruction

Viswanatha and Rehman emphasised on partial demolition of the building, retaining the foundation  and groundfloor masonry walls with adequate strengthening measures, followed by total reconstruction of ground floor ceiling, the first floor masonry walls, ceiling and other areas, helping the building last at least for 80 to 100 years.

Kutty had stressed for restoring the building and conserving the same without taking any demolition works.

The total load calculations must be made on sections and verified against load limits of individual parts (beams, wall masonry, madras terrace etc.,).

The works may cost up to Rs two crore. The MCC council resolved to consider the recommendations of Viswanatha and Rehman.

The decision was later approved in the meeting of the deputy commissioner and forwarded to the State Government.

Sources said, the decision was supported in the cabinet meeting at Bangalore too and a detailed project report (DPR) has been sought. 

When contacted by Deccan Herald, MCC commissioner P G Ramesh, who recently took charge , said he shall be able to reply after a day or two, after getting the knowledge of related developments.


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