Most of residential colonies in outer Delhi's Mangolpuri are sitting on a tinderbox, ready to explode anytime due to the presence of large number of small factories operating illegally in the densely populated areas.
At least 10 of the 22 residential blocks in Mangolpuri have illegal factories of chemicals, shoes, rexine items and readymade garments. They are running under the nose of the local police as well as the civic agency without licences.
On the other hand, police say that they can take action only if they receive any complaint from the monitoring agencies.
On Tuesday morning, a 13-year-old boy and three other workers were killed while another suffered burn injuries after a fire broke out at an illegal shoe manufacturing unit. Police said the factory was operating on residential land, without a mandatory licence.
Local residents say residential blocks such as M, N, U and T, have the maximum number of illegal factories operating without even fire safety measures.
"None of these factories follow fire-safety norms, risking the lives of the residents of these blocks who always fear for their lives. Many chemical factories are operating from M and N block and almost all of them are being run in rented houses," said a senior police officer.
The lanes and sub-lanes in these blocks are so congested and narrow that not a single fire tender can reach them. Most of the factories, sources said, employee children who work overtime.
Residents allege that such illegal commercial activities are running from residential colonies because of support from corrupt police personnel.