Jalandhar disaster: Will conclude probe in 10 days, says Ladhar | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Jalandhar disaster: Will conclude probe in 10 days, says Ladhar

punjab Updated: May 08, 2012 22:26 IST
HT Correspondent

Divisional Commissioner SR Ladhar, heading an inquiry to find out the reason for the collapse of Shital Fibres factory building on April 15, said on Tuesday that he would conclude the probe and submit a report to the chief minister within 10 days.

"I have visited the mishap site and found serious lapses on part of the owner as there were no valid inlets and outlets required for a building, approved as per the bye-laws," Ladhar, who was accompanied by senior officials of departments concerned at the collapse site, told Hindustan Times.

The departments concerned, including department of factories, Punjab state industrial export corporation (PSIEC), Punjab pollution control board and Powercom have been instructed to submit written explanations on the violations in the building, Ladhar said.

"A check list has been provided to all departments for submission of their reports on whether they took action against the erring unit, which was functioning without legal permissions," the officer said, adding that the departments were told to submit their written explanations by Friday evening.

"After a final meeting with heads of departments concerned and getting their written explanations, I will conclude my report within the next 10 days," Ladhar said.

Asked to comment on removal of severe IPC sections against Vij by the city police, Ladhar evaded a direct reply and said that his emphasis was to probe the reason for the building collapse and suggest measures to be taken by government departments to ensure such mishaps did not occur again.

"Technical aspects of regarding structure of the building, type of material used in the construction and any other technical reason for collapse will be probed by another committee headed by technical advisor to Punjab government, Lt Gen BS Dhaliwal (retd)," the divisional commissioner said.

Meanwhile, sources said that a building adjoining to the collapsed one had also serious violations of building bye-laws since there was no proper entrance, barring a narrow staircase from the back side.

When this was brought to his notice, Ladhar said, "Although I have not been assigned to probe the violations in the adjoining building, I will definitely mention it in my report vis-à-vis preventive measures against such mishaps."

It was learnt that the district administration had already declared the adjoining building of Shital Fibres as unsafe and even sealed it.

Another inquiry panel headed by Lt Gen Dhaliwal also visited the site on Monday and was expected to re-visit it on Wednesday.

Police justify action

While justifying the scrapping of severe sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Shital Vij, city police maintained that there was no ground to file such strong case against Vij, as it would not be possible to prove the same in the court of law.

Asked why such a strong case was filed against Vij in the first place, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Navjot Mahal, who heads Special Investigation Team (SIT), said, "It is the duty of the police to register an FIR on any complaint and later on the sections could be changed after inquiry."