Civic officials claims only 15 dangerous buildings in Delhi
The current year’s report of ‘dangerous buildings’ released by the three municipal corporations — East, South and North Delhi Municipal Corporation listed out only 15 structures, which are in dangerous state and need immediate demolition. The identified structures included one in South Delhi’s Budhela Village, four in east Delhi and 10 in north Delhi.Updated: Jul 16, 2017 10:18 IST
The collapse of a commercial building in Laxmi Nagar on Sunday could have claimed many lives had it been a working day. The building was constructed 25 years ago and lay in a deplorable state.
Despite repeated complaints made by residents to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the building was not included in the list of ‘dangerous structures’ by the agency.
When HT visited the site on Sunday, it found many such dilapidated buildings in the area. However, the current year’s report of ‘dangerous buildings’ released by the three municipal corporations — East, South and North Delhi Municipal Corporation listed out only 15 structures, which are in dangerous state and need immediate demolition. The identified structures included one in South Delhi’s Budhela Village, four in east Delhi and 10 in north Delhi.
“How can EDMC identify only four buildings in a dangerous state? Majority areas in east Delhi are unauthorised and constructed on the Yamuna floodplain. The land has quicksand conditions, which means the soil particles have less cohesive force among themselves and they can get scattered easily. This condition makes the buildings extremely precarious,” said Aditya Sharma, a structural designer.
In comparison, 100 buildings were identified as dangerous by the three corporations in 2016. It included 35 buildings in north, 24 in east and 35 in south Delhi corporation.
According to Sharma, the biggest problem faced by the municipal bodies is that they don’t have the authority to verify the ‘structural stability’ of a building. “The building certificates are issued on the basis of the architectural layout of a building. None of the agencies check if the building structures have appropriate foundations,” he said.
Since July 2016, over five major incidents of building collapse have been reported in Delhi. At least five people have died in the incidents. The collapse incidents include the January 2017 episode in which an elderly couple was crushed to death when a building which was over a century old collapsed in central Delhi’s Chandni Mahal. Survivors claimed that the building was last repaired about 20 years ago.
According to experts, if a building is constructed as per the guidelines of Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) then it will remain intact for at least 100 years. They said that if no precautionary measures are taken by civic agencies then the incidents of building collapse such as the recent one in Laxmi Nagar, will continue to happen in the future.
On the other hand, the civic officials claim that the maintenance department carried out a physical survey of all houses prior to monsoon. “During the process they identify the repairable and dangerous buildings and direct the owners of dangerous buildings to demolish the structures immediately. Penalties are issued when orders are not followed,” said Yoginder Singh Mann, spokesperson, North and East MCD.