AHMEDABAD: In this monsoon season, three deaths have been caused by structural collapse in the Walled City areas and 19 people have been injured. Most have sustained head injuries.
While Sujal Panchal, 5, a resident of Mandvi ni Pol, died on Thursday afternoon, Raju Thakor, 40, a resident of Fatasha ni Pol, died early on July 24 morning. For Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES), it was 16th call of structural collapse in three days.
“Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) can declare a structure dangerous – an annual exercise undertaken before events such as Rath Yatra and Muharram,” said an AMC official on the condition of anonymity. “However, authorities have no real powers to have these structures vacated. As most of the buildings are occupied by tenants or are in a limbo due to multiple ownerships, they slowly turn into dangerous structures that nobody bothers to repair. One can find debris of a number of such fallen structures in pols.”
The unique design of pols can be deadly them. As one structure gives way, adjoining buildings automatically bear the brunt. Experts said that unchecked alterations to the original structure and commercialization of pol properties are jeopardizing century-old buildings.