A month on, probe panel fails to find reasons for building collapse

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 18, 2014 16:11 IST

One month after a major fire destroyed a fourstorey building in Sector 17-B, killing two persons, the eightmember inquiry committee formed to look into its cause has just issued some recommendations, while it is still groping in the dark about the exact cause of the building collapse.

The committee has not even taken any decision on the removal of malba, and asked the UT estate office to take a decision on it.

On June 8, two firefighters were killed after the building of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) near old KC Theatre in Sector 17-B collapsed following a major fire.

One of the members of the committee said the exact reason for the collapse of building would be known only after the malba was lifted.

“The samples would be taken by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), then only we can fix the responsibility and will know whether the building collapsed due the cylinder blast or it was a weak building,” the official said.

The committee formed under the chairpersonship of Tanvi Garg, additional deputy commissioner, UT administration, pointed out that most of the commercial buildings in Sector 17 had attained the age of 50, as such there was dire necessity to ensure their structural stability.

The committee recommended that owners of the commercial buildings in Sector 17 should be asked to provide self-attested certificates that there was no violation in the building and it was as per sanctioned building plan and building bylaws.

Also the owner should be required to submit a certificate for structure stability of the building issued from the structural consultant approved by the UT administration.

However, when contacted, estate officer Balbir Singh Dhol said, “We will adhere to the recommendations and if owners will not follow the same, we will be forced to seal their buildings.”

The committee also highlighted the measure for enabling fire safety of similar structures in city as well as for strengthening firefighting efforts.

It stated that encroachment from staircases, ramp, balconies, lobby and corridor might be removed to enable the fireman to enter the building for firefighting and rescue operation.

Hoardings, advisement boards and glow signs might be removed from unauthorised portion of the buildings and parking might not be allowed near the building.

Fire lane might be marked and space be kept reserved for fire vehicles in the parking area, it recommended.

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