The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has asked all shop owners in Connaught Place to get safety certificates from structural engineers.
“This will include self declaration by the owners and attestation by the structural engineer that the particular shop space doesn’t deviate from the sanctioned building plan and items on rooftop are there with necessary permission,” an NDMC official said.
In case, any building is found dangerous further action will be taken as per provisions of NDMC Act 1994 in this regard.
The council has also formed 15 teams to take stock of condition of the buildings in Connaught Place to prevent any collapse like the two incidents which took place on February 2 and 10.
The teams, consisting of technical officers of different departments, will work under the overall supervision of chief engineers, chief architect, director and medical officer of health. The teams will submit their report within two days.
“They will carry out visual inspection of the buildings to identify the structural stress, if any, and inspect the rooftops terrace of each premise, list out utilities like water storage (capacity), generators and other stacked material. Tentative estimate of load on each premises will also be assessed and signs of seepage or other factors leading to building deterioration will be identified,” an official said, adding that the current use of the premises will also be inspected.
The council actions come after the roof of Unplugged Courtyard, a restaurant in L-Block, caved in on February 10 — a few days after NDMC had banned dining on the terrace in Connaught Place due to safety concerns. Earlier, on February 2, a part of the roof in C block near the popular Jain Book Depot had also collapsed, raising concerns regarding safety of this 84-year-old shopping hub.
After the first incident, the NDMC had also shut down the rooftop sections of 21 open-air restaurants. Unplugged Courtyard was on that list too, along with My Bar Headquarters, Warehouse Cafe in D-block, The Vault Cafe in F-block, Kinbuck-2 and Kitchen Bar in C-block, Lord of the Drinks, Open House Cafe, Jungle Jamboree, Boombox Cafe, Farzi Cafe, House of Commons, Hotel Palace Heights, Office Canteen Bar, Luggage Room, Cafe OMG, Barbeque Nation, TC Bar & Restaurant, Teddy Boy Restaurant and The Niche Restaurant and Cafe Public Connection.
Earlier on Monday, the NDMC suspended four engineers for dereliction of duty resulting in the two incidents. According to senior officials, they were responsible for monitoring the Connaught Place area.