Residents escape building collapse

An old building collapsed at Chikka Mavalli in Bangalore on Tuesday. DH Photo

A dilapidated, 70-year-old two-storeyed building on Obalappa Road (Ganesha Vattara) in Chikamavalli collapsed on Tuesday evening, shattering the hopes of dozens of families that occupied the structure.

But as luck would have it, over 18 families, dozens of children and the landlady, Siddamma (89), escaped unhurt. The seepage of water that had accumulated on an adjacent plot of vacant land most likely weakened the building’s foundation over time, ultimately leading to its collapse.

The inmates were alerted by a creaking sound, and they rushed out at once. Incidentally, Siddamma was the last to be out of the collapsing structure.

She later narrated the incident: “Around 2.50 pm, while I was having lunch, I heard a loud noise from outside. When I peeped out, I saw people asking me to get out of the building. Initially, I failed to realise the gravity of the situation. But after some time, I sensed something wrong and walked out of the premises. When I looked back, I found that a portion of the building had caved in.”

Siddamma and her family were the pioneers in making Ganesh idols in Bangalore. “Around 70 years back, we bought this property. I have eight children, seven sons and one daughter. But since the demise of my husband Muninanjappa, I’m destined to live alone.

As my children grew up, problems and misunderstandings surfaced, due to which the building was neglected. Only two of my sons live here while the others moved out,” recalled Siddamma. Soon after she came out of the building unharmed, Siddamma proceeded to a nearby temple. 

Traffic diversion

In the wake of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s Padayatra from 10 am to 1 pm on Wednesday, following traffic diversions are announced. Motorists and pedestrians should avoid the following roads:

Mysore Bank Circle to Avenue Road via Doddapet Circle, Doddapet Circle to Chikpet Main Road via Balepet Circle, Balepet Circle to Balepet Main Road via Kempegowda Circle and Kempegowda Circle to K G Road via Mysore Bank Circle. Vehicles plying from K R Market Circle via Avenue Road should use S J P Road. Those heading from Doddapet Circle via Chikpet Road should go through Mamoolpet and Sultanpet roads whereas those going from Balepet Circle to Balepet Road, should ply through Akkipet Road. Vehicles will be allowed from the left side of K G Road when the Padayatra proceeds from Kempegowda Circle to Kempegowda Road via Mysore Bank Circle.

The property loss was indeed shocking for the Madesha couple. They were crying for help. “Today we are on the street. It’s just not the property and the hard-earned money that we have lost, our children’s academic records are buried under the debris. We are shattered.”

BBMP authorities had sent umpteen warnings and notices to the owners assessing that the building was not fit for dwelling, sources said. But, the owners   neglected it.

Arrangements were made to accommodate the homeless families at the nearby Bhagya Nanjundeswari Kalyana Mantapa. Fire force personnel cleared the area of debris.

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