Devmuni prasad (48) received four stitches on her head after a huge chunk of the kitchen’s ceiling in her house fell on her Thursday afternoon.
A resident of Eastern Wing, pocket III of central government quarters in Lodhi Colony, she was rushed to a trauma centre and then to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.
“The injury was serious and she got stitches,” her son Shailendra Prasad said.
If residents of the area are to be believed, it was a tragedy waiting to happen. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is responsible for the maintenance of these quarters which were built in 1982 for the Asian Games and allotted to central government employees in 1984.
It is evident from the state of buildings in the complex with almost 5,000 quarters that there has been no or very poor maintenance.
Prasad’s is not a lone case. “They installed poor quality tiles instead of the sanctioned skid-proof tiles. My wife slipped and suffered slip disc. Doctors have now advised operation, which will cost about Rs 3 lakh,” claimed N.K. Nagar, another resident of pocket III.
Every second home in the colony shows signs of ageing — can-fall-anytime ceiling plaster being a common complaint followed by seepage and falling portions of balconies, etc.
“We have been complaining to the CPWD officials for almost over a year. We also made a power point presentation including pictures of the damaged portions of our buildings, but to no avail,” said Vinod Kumar, president of Central Government Resident Welfare Association (Eastern Wing, Pocket III).
An executive engineer from CPWD that Hindustan Times spoke to said: “Maintenance/repair work is carried out continuously. (But) it should not take one-and-half year for redressal of any complaint. Why didn’t they come to me?”
The CPWD official, name withheld because he is not authorised to speak with media, said, “Work for strengthening will be taken up. Also, we are on the job for grid wash of the entire premises.”