An elderly woman was killed in sleep when the roof of a section of her rented house collapsed on her on Friday night in the city's Islamabad area.
It's not the first death in building collapse this monsoon but it has come when the municipal corporation is on a campaign to deal with unsafe structures in the walled city area. This building, though a "pucca" house, had aged before time.
The rest of the family was asleep in another section, and so it survived. "The alert about the collapse came from the area councillor," said assistant town planner Manohar Singh Bhatti, who was on the spot with his team. The fire department denied any knowledge of the incident.
"The structure, though not very old, needed urgent repair, which the poor elderly couple (the victim and her husband) and the landlord couldn't afford," said Bhatti. The owner has agreed to demolish the remaining part of the room. The victim's family has been asked to shift.
In the past few days, seven people have died in the city in cases where unsafe buildings and edifices have collapsed in the walled city and suburbs. An infant and three women were killed in just one day, when a house each had collapsed at Hakima Gate (walled city) and Batala road. Last year, five people were killed when nine old buildings in the walled city had collapsed during rain.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal had then asked the municipal corporation to identify all the old and dilapidated structures to bring them down to prevent recurrent tragedies every monsoon. Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that out of 100 unsafe edifices, the MC had razed 48, so far.