Dera Bassi building collapse: Deceased owner booked

Booked for causing death by negligence on the complaint of the brother of a labourer, who had died in the collapse with his two co-workers and the showroom owner.
The collapse on Thursday had claimed four lives.(HT Photo)
The collapse on Thursday had claimed four lives.(HT Photo)
Published on Sep 26, 2020 01:28 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mohali | By, Mohali

A day after a commercial building under construction collapsed in Meera Milli Mohalla, Dera Bassi, police on Friday booked its dead owner for causing death by negligence.

Police have booked Hardev Singh, 72, who, along with three labourers, had succumbed after the two-storey showroom came crumbling down.

While Hardev was rescued alive, he had died during treatment at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.

The labourers, Gopi Chand, 60; Raju, 46; and Ramesh Sardara, 45, all hailing from Bihar, however, had died by the time rescuers reached them under the rubble.

The deceased showroom owner was booked on the complaint of Raju’s brother Suniya. “The owner was using old material and failed to take necessary precautions that led to the collapse of the building, killing my brother. He had come to Dera Bassi for a better life, but now I am taking back his body,” he said.

The bodies of the labourers were handed over to their kin after autopsy at the Dera Bassi civil hospital on Friday.

MC officials said Hardev had got the building plans approved in March. The showroom was coming up in place of a house owned by a family, hence, he had been working to get the approval to convert the house into a commercial building since 2000.

ALSO READ: Beyond FIRs, probes, no action taken in similar cases in the past

A preliminary report by the Dera Bassi MC building inspector had attributed the collapse to old material and faulty sanitary fittings used in construction, while structure stability and load-bearing capacity were also ignored. A magisterial inquiry by the Dera Bassi SDM Kuldeep Bawa has already been ordered by the Mohali deputy commissioner.

Notice to adjacent building’s owner

The municipal council (MC) has issued a notice to the owner of the building coming up adjacent to the collapsed structure to stop construction work till the inquiry is completed. “The owner has also been directed to get a structure stability certificate and other inspections done before resuming work,” said Jagjeet Singh Judge, MC executive officer.

Besides, the owner of a house adjacent to the collapse site has also been asked to vacate the premises, as his building had developed a crack. “The owner has been directed not to stay in the house till the repairs are carried out as the structure is now unsafe,” Judge said.

Survey of old buildings

In the wake of the collapse, MC has decided to undertake a survey of all unsafe buildings in the town. “All buildings older than 50 years will be inspected, and demolished if found unsafe, after notices to their owners,” the EO said.

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