Now, a building collapse in outer Delhi’s Bawana leaves four dead
All the flats in the buildings are vacant and are in a dilapidated condition. The wooden and iron doors, windows, bathroom fittings and other amenities were stolen long back by anti-social elements, said locals.
Four people, including a nine-year-old girl and a 55-year-old woman, were killed and at least two women were injured after a four-storey vacant building, which is part of Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojna, collapsed near Bawana village in outer Delhi on Friday afternoon, police and fire department officials said.
A rescue operation carried out by teams of the fire department, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and the police, along with local residents continued for nearly four hours. The operation was stopped around 7pm after all six who were trapped under the debris were rescued and sent to hospitals, where four were declared dead on arrival.
The victims were identified as Rukaiya Khatoon (55), Afrina (9), and two men identified by their first names – Shahzad (25), and Danish (24). The two injured were identified as Fatima (21), and Shahnaz (28). All six were residents of slums at JJ Colony, Bawana, which is located opposite the residential buildings constructed under Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojna to rehabilitate slum residents 14-15 years ago, said a fire department official, who was part of the rescue operation.
“It is not clear why the six were present in the building. Prima facie, it appears that some of them had gone there with their cattle for herding. We will speak to the injured women to know the exact reason for which they were there inside the building along with the four who died. The mishap spot falls under the jurisdiction of Narela police station. A case is being registered there,” said deputy commissioner of police (outer-north) Brijendra Kumar Yadav.
Locals said the buildings in that area were built by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC) under the Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana. Some of these flats were also handed over to the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). All the flats in the buildings are vacant and are in a dilapidated condition. Long bushes have grown around the buildings, making them safe dens for criminals and drug users. The wooden and iron doors, windows, bathroom fittings and other amenities installed in the flats were stolen long back by anti-social elements, said locals.
A DSIIDC official said, “DSIIDC has ordered an inquiry into the matter to ascertain the cause of collapse and fix the responsibility. Engineer-in-chief has asked officials to investigate the matter and submit the report in a week. These flats have been lying vacant for years. It is yet to be established how these people entered the building complex.”
It is learnt that a team of DSIIDC officials was sent to the spot on Friday evening.
The complex, which has 3,680 flats, was constructed by DSIIDC in 2010 under the Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana. DSIIDC officials said that DUSIB was yet to allot the flats. “The complex is maintained by DSIIDC. It is not with us,” said a DUSIB official.
Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg said the control room received a call at 2.49 pm regarding the house collapse. “The old vacant building comprising of ground plus three floors had collapsed and some people were trapped,” said Garg.
In a statement, the Delhi government said, “An immediate departmental enquiry has been initiated into the matter. The government is closely monitoring the whole situation and it has been brought to light that the building was constructed during 2007-2010. All concerned agencies have been deployed for relief work and the officials are trying their best to rescue all the victims.”