Hyderabad, July 8: Did the construction of a kiln for making "haleem" -- a thick beef stew -- atop the building lead to the collapse of the City Light Hotel in Secunderabad Monday morning, where at least six people were killed and many others were feared trapped under the debris?
The hotel owner had reportedly taken up the construction of a "bhatti" (a kiln made of brick and mud) for cooking "haleem", a popular dish made especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The hotel management had hired labourers for the making the temporary structure, to get it ready in time for Ramadan, beginning in two to three days.
Commissioner T. Krishna Babu of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said the construction of the "bhatti" and the use of large quantities of water for it may have weakened the structure, leading to the mishap.
"It was being constructed on top. It may have increased the pressure on the building," Babu said.
The municipal commissioner, however, said the exact reason of the collapse would be known only after thorough investigations.
He clarified that City Light hotel was not among the old buildings issued notices by the GHMC. He also denied that it was a dilapidated building.
"The outward appearance was fine. It seemed to be a reasonably stable building. In the recent pre-monsoon survey, it was not identified for demolition," he told reporters.
Krishna Babu said 57 buildings in Secunderabad were issued notices and 15 of them were demolished by the GHMC in the past month.
"Old building does not mean it is dilapidated. There are more than 100-year-old buildings and heritage buildings which are strong," he said.
City Light was a famous Iranian cafe, serving the popular Irani tea, biryani and other lip-smacking dishes.