For no fault of hers, Richa Sharma got buried in the rubble when four floors of the building she lived in caved in as the owner of the next door banquet hall was carrying out mindless digging to erect pillars.
And this is exactly what had happened in Walled City’s Chandni Mahal building collapse incident on September 27.
In a repeat of the incident, the owner of the banquet hall in B5 in Uttam Nagar was carrying out new construction without getting the new building plan sanctioned.
A 200-sq-yard plot, B5, was subdivided into a 130 sq yard and a 70 sq yard plot. The construction was being carried out on the larger area.
As the construction was being carried out illegally, the owner was in a rush to complete the work and, hence, all safety norms where thrown out of the window. This led to the collapse of the building.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which should have carried out inspections to check whether illegal constructions were being carried out in west zone, said it doesn’t have adequate manpower to check each house in the area.
“It is an unauthorised regularised colony where people have constructed houses without getting approvals,” Krishna Kumar, deputy commissioner of West zone of MCD.
“The owner of the banquet hall should have approached us for getting a new building plan sanctioned. Under the new policy, we can sanction plans for sub-divided (smaller) plots too. But the owner did not approach us,” he added.
MCD has been making tall claims of taking action against illegal construction, but the frequent incidents of collapse have a different story to tell.
Though the executive wing of the civic body maintains that it had not received any complaint about illegal construction in B5, the neighbours say several complaints had been made.
Municipal Commissioner KS Mehra has ordered a vigilance enquiry into the Uttam Nagar building collapse incident and has also directed it to submit its report within seven days. He also ordered suspension of Assistant Engineer PP Puri and Junior Engineer Sumit Meena responsible for the area.