A fire broke out at the office of the Road Transport Authority (RTA) in Hyderabad's Khairatabad area on Wednesday morning, which resulted in many files being gutted.
According to officials, the fire was first reported at around 10am, after smoke began billowing out from the first floor. After rushing to the spot, fire tenders took more than three hours to control the blaze.
However, no casualties or injuries were reported. Officials are still ascertaining the reason for the mishap.
“It is an old building dating back to the Nizam’s time. It is now used as a store room. The RTA office is shifted to a new building on the premises...Most officials, including me, were busy with Republic Day rehearsals when we got the SOS call. We suspect it must have taken place due to short circuit ,” M Srinivas Reddy, district fire officer, told ToI.
While the building is not officially considered a heritage structure, it still holds historic value, as it was built during the Asaf Jahi dynasty that ruled Hyderabad state.
Incidentally, the same building had witnessed a smaller fire on January 22, which spread from the ground floor, before it was contained.
Taking note of the incident, Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy is reported to have sanctioned Rs 10 lakh to carry out the repair works in the building.
Joint Transport Commissioner J Pandurang Naik told reporters, "Some of the 40-year-old records were burnt in the fire. However, all the records have been computerised."
“The building was constructed more than half a century ago, and it has really old electrical wiring. We use the space for storing all old documents and they are stored and maintained permanently. There has been no loss of data as these documents have all been computerised,” C Ramesh, joint commissioner, RTA Khairatabad, told mediapersons.