Solan building collapse: No arrests yet;owner blames construction nearby
More than two days after a four-storey building on the Kumarhatti-Nahan highway collapsed on Sunday, Solan police are yet to arrest the owner of the structure.
However, Solan superintendent of police (SP) Madhusudan Sharma has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under DSP Yogesh Rolta to look into the incident.
Solan sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Rohit Rathore has also started a magisterial probe in the incident.
Sources said the focus of his probe was whether the additional floors that the owner had constructed led to the collapse of the building.
There were only two floors when the building was constructed 10 years ago.
Deputy commissioner KC Chaman said that the probe report would be tabled in two weeks.
He said that the state government had announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to kin of each of the 14 people killed.
Those dead included 13 junior commissioned officers (JCOs).
The rescue operation lasted for 22 hours before all those buried were pulled out.
Police have registered a case under Sections 304-A (negligence) and under 336 (endangering lives of others) of the IPC against the owner Balbir Singh, alias Sahil.
Owner blames nearby construction
The accused, Sahil, blamed the construction of apartments next to his collapsed building for the tragedy.
“For several weeks now, there has been excessive use of big earth excavating machines like JCBs for construction work. Such heavy vibration must have weakened the foundation of my building and led to its collapse,” he claimed.
He added that several trees had been uprooted near his property to make an approach road for these apartments.
“I fear that this damaged the slope and incessant rain made things worse,” he added.
“Had I known that the building was unsafe, would I have allowed my family to stay there?” questioned Sahil, whose wife, Archana, was also among those killed.
Archana was at the fourth floor when the tragedy struck.
His two children, aged 11 and 7, had a narrow escape as they were outside the building at the time of its collapse.
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