Demolishing Mississippi Hangar big challenge

TSRTC to rope in pvt agencies to raze 50-ft-high steel dome; blasting or implosion techniques cannot be used as it is located in densely populated area

By Author  |  Published: 7th Jul 2018  12:16 amUpdated: 7th Jul 2018  12:15 am
Mississippi Hangar
The exercise to dismantle and shift the metal in itself would be a challenging task.

Hyderabad: A day after the Mississippi Hangar, popularly known as Central Bus Station, at Gowliguda collapsed, Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) will rope in private agencies to demolish the structure.

Over 100 tonnes of steel is likely to be junked after dismantling the structure, thereby generating good revenue for the cash-starved corporation through the sale of the scrap. Since TSRTC does not have the required manpower and infrastructure, it decided to invite private or other agencies to dismantle the nearly nine-decade-old bus station and transport the scrap to other locations. Tenders to this effect will be floated in the next few days.

Imported from Butler Manufacturing Company, USA, in the 1930s, the hangar is perhaps the first pre-fabricated structure to be installed in Hyderabad. The exercise to dismantle and shift the metal in itself would be a challenging task. The hangar was nearly 50 feet high and unlike concrete structures, the chosen agencies cannot use blasting or implosion techniques as it is located in a densely populated area.

More importantly, such magnitude of work was not taken up in the city in the recent past. Generally, such large-scale demolition is taken up by those associated with naval dockyards or steel industries by deploying professionals. It is done in a systematic manner, clearing piece by piece, a senior TSRTC official said.

The entire collapsed structure has to be broken down and the scrap shifted to respective workshops or locations. “Agencies will have to quote their prices per tonne of scrap, and whichever agency quotes the highest will be awarded the contract,” the official said. The idea is to complete the dismantling at the earliest as it can be risky to leave the partially collapsed structure at the location, the official said.

Nearby restrooms to be razed too

It is not just the Mississippi Hangar which is going to be dismantled. TSRTC also plans to demolish the neighbouring concrete structure, which houses crew restrooms, security room and an administration office.

The ground-plus-one concrete building adjacent to the iron dome was being jointly used by the TSRTC and APSRTC crew as a resting space during their breaks. But, after bifurcation the building was under-utilised as APSRTC shifted its operations to Andhra Pradesh with Vijayawada as its headquarters.

In addition to the 1.20 acres occupied by the hangar, dismantling the concrete building, bus shelters and other structures will free up nearly four acres. Once the task is accomplished, a consultant will be roped in to suggest and design projects for optimum utilisation of the space. Emphasis will be on developing a project that will generate revenue for the corporation without affecting the bus and commercial operations in the area, an official said.

Is Ranigunj Hangar safe?

The hangar at Ranigunj bus depot is being used as a workshop by the corporation. Photo: Surya Sridhar

After the collapse of the Mississippi Hangar at Gowliguda on Thursday, doubts are surfacing about the structural stability of the hangar at Ranigunj bus depot. According to historians, in addition to the Mississippi Hangar, the Nizam also imported hangars and they were reassembled at Ranigunj, which is now used by TSRTC as a bus depot.

As the structure was set up around the same time and already completed over eight decades of service, doubts are being raised over the stability of the hangar at Ranigunj. But, TSRTC officials claimed the structure was strong and stable. It is presently being used as a workshop by the corporation. “Our engineers inspected it and there is nothing to worry,” a senior official said.