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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Blame game between ruling AAP and BJP in aftermath of Karol Bagh hotel fire

A fire at the Arpit Palace hotel in New Delhi’s Karol Bagh locality on Tuesday killed 17 people.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2019 12:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Firefighters seen outside Hotel Arpit Palace after a massive fire broke out at the hotel, at Karol Bagh, New Delhi, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Firefighters seen outside Hotel Arpit Palace after a massive fire broke out at the hotel, at Karol Bagh, New Delhi, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo )

The Delhi government on Tuesday cancelled its fourth anniversary celebrations in view of the Karol Bagh fire even as a blame game began between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over fixing responsibility for the incident in which 17 lives were lost.

Singer and composer Vishal Dadlani was to perform at an event on Tuesday evening. The government said new dates for the event would be announced.

“Due to the tragic fire incident in Karol Bagh where several people lost their lives, today’s Vishal Dadlani’s program scheduled for this evening (Feb 12) in Delhi, stands cancelled. Our heartfelt condolences for the grieving families,” said deputy CM Manish Sisodia.

The AAP said the BJP-led civic agencies allowed “illegal activities and constructions” in the building. “The hotel had five floors with fibre structure on the top floor. How did MCD (North Corporation) give approval to such building plan? If no approval was given, how could such a hotel operate? How could they get certificate from MCD to operate ? How was fire certificate obtained ? How this building ever inspected by officials before granting certificate? Is there any accountability?” questioned AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.

The BJP said the civic agencies’ approvals are based on a no-objection certificate issued by the fire department, which is controlled by the Delhi government. “Instead of blaming the civic agencies, the government should first look at their system of giving fire clearance. We learnt the chief fire officer of Delhi had issued a safety certificate to this hotel, but even then the incident took place, which is indicative of gross negligence. We will try to ensure an impartial inquiry is held and the guilty are punished,” said Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief.

Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, who met relatives of the victims at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, said, “The government should form a committee to probe the tragedy, find out if there were any lapses and punish those found guilty.” Delhi Congress cancelled its workers’ convention on Tuesday because of the incident.

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 12:46 IST