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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Greater Noida building collapse: Toll goes up to eight

Eight bodies have been recovered from rubble of buildings in Greater Noida, many more feared buried. Two Uttar Pradesh officials have been suspended.

noida Updated: Jul 18, 2018 23:49 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Greater Noida
Rescue workers look for survivors amidst the rubble at the site of a collapsed residential building at Shah Beri village in Greater Noida.
Rescue workers look for survivors amidst the rubble at the site of a collapsed residential building at Shah Beri village in Greater Noida.(REUTERS)

At least eight people, including an 18-month old girl died and several others were feared buried in the twin building collapse in Greater Noida’s Shahberi village on Tuesday night.

The police on?Wednesday arrested the land owner and two brokers and booked them for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Two officers in Greater Noida authority were suspended on charges of laxity in the matter. Project manager VP Singh and assistant project manager Akhtar Abbas Zaidi of the enforcement section in Greater Noida were suspended and an administrative inquiry has also been ordered against them.

In another development, IAS officer Vibha Chahal, officer on special duty, Greater Noida authority was transferred to the office of agriculture production commissioner, Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the incident.

The incident occurred at 9.30 pm on Tuesday night when a six-storeyed, under-construction building and a five-storeyed building collapsed on the congested lane in Shahberi village. It is not clear which building fell first, resulting in the collapse of the other building as well.

A family of four had recently moved in the fourth floor of newly-constructed building. A number of labourers were said to be living in the under-construction building.

Bodies of all four family members have been recovered.

Body of Shiv Kumar Trivedi, his 50-year-old mother Raj Kumari, his sister-in-law Priyanka Trivedi, 26, her 18-month-old daughter Pankhuri were among the eight bodies that were taken out from the rubble till 10 pm on Wednesday. Four others are males, two of whom have been identified as Ranjit Bhumali (30), a native of Malda in West Bengal, whose family lives in East Delhi’s Jagatpuri, and Shamshad (25), a native of Faizabad.

In an FIR registered suo motu on Wednesday afternoon, police have booked a total of 24 persons including the land owner, builder, contractor and other players of the construction business in the matter. Among the accused is the contractor, Qasim, developers Pankaj Goyal, Manish Goyal and Allen Gupta, architect Satyaprakash and land owner Ganga Shankar Dwivedi.

According to officials, both the buildings were illegal and came up on a land which was handed over by the Supreme Court in 2011 to the farmers.

The district magistrate BN Singh has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident. Additional district magistrate will be investigating the matter and will be submitting a detailed report within 15 days. The DM also said that the accused persons will be booked under the provisions of the NSA.

Additional district magistrate Kumar Vinit will be probing the role of the Greater Noida authority officials, who overlooked the construction of these illegal buildings. The officer will also be giving his detailed suggestions to avoid such incidents in the future after talking to all stakeholders

Initial police investigations suggest a nexus of builders, land mafia and contractors allowing the land in Shahberi to be used for unauthorised construction due to various litigations in the high court and the Supreme Court.

“We have arrested Ganga Shankar Dwivedi, the land owner, and two brokers Dinesh and Sanjeev on Wednesday morning. Prima facie, it appears that the trio was involved in selling the flats in both the buildings. Besides these three, a total of 21 persons have also been booked under IPC sections 304, 288, 338 and 427 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, negligent conduct while repairing buildings, causing grievous hurt by endangering life of others and mischief,” said Akhilesh Tripathi, station house officer, Bisrakh police station.

The two buildings belonged to GK Home builders. The other persons named in the FIR are contractor Sardar , Dr Salim, Salmuddin, Nitin Tyagi, Kailash Tyagi, Man builders, Chetan Tyagi, Sonu Pathak, Haji Turkan, Harendra Nagar, Momin, Najmu, Muntazar Hussain, Anees Khan, Atul Tyagi, Dinesh and Sanjeev. Police have been unable to ascertain whereabouts of the rest named in the FIR.

According to the police, the two buildings were constructed on the land owned by one Ganga Shankar Dwivedi, a resident of Sanjay Nagar, Ghaziabad.

“The incident had caused panic among the residents of Shahberi who started vacating their houses on late Tuesday night. The accused have been involved in illegal construction business in Shahberi despite several warnings issued by the administration. Soon, rest of the accused in the FIR will be arrested,” said Tripathi.

“It has come out in primary investigations that land owner Dwivedi and Goyal builders are related and they were running this business together,” said Kumar Vinit, additional DM.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 19:36 IST