Except one, all buildings in the vicinity of the building which collapsed in Sector 17 after a fire on Sunday have been found safe and will reopen on Friday. However, no vehicular movement will be allowed in the area.
The decision was taken by the UT Administration following a report by Dr I C Syal, former head of the Civil Engineering Department of the Punjab Engineering College, who inspected the buildings and declared them fit for use.
The buildings, which covered SCOs 4 to 9 and 115 to 127, were closed and cordoned off on Monday. These housed a branch of the State Bank of India where treasury of the UT Administration was located, offices of an insurance firm, Haryana Tourism, CITCO as well as some lawyers.
An official of the administration said that only the building next to the one that collapsed was unsafe. “When the debris is removed from the site, this could affect the adjoining building. That is why this building will continue to remain closed,” he said.
This building houses offices of lawyers. The building which collapsed housed the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology.
Rajbir Singh, owner of a nearby building, said, “It is a good decision, as our tenants were suffering losses in their businesses. They were anxious. Some officials had visited the nearby building and as per their report, my building is safe as there is a gap of about 30 feet between the collapsed building and my building.”
Meanwhile, firefighting operation at the site has ended and barricading has been done to prevent access to the rubble and the unsafe building. The next step now will be to remove the debris from the site for which a plan will be chalked out.
Police waiting for debris to cool to carry on with probe
Four days after a building of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) collapsed, police officers are waiting for the debris to cool down so that they can proceed with investigations.
SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill said that a team from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) will be examining the spot so that the actual cause of the explosion can be ascertained. “The only request CFSL has made is that they want to examine the debris when they are intact,” the SSP said. He added that experts need to be called for the removal of debris without causing damage to the adjoining building. “We are just waiting for the debris to cool down. That is all we can do as of now. We cannot take any chances and put more lives at risk,” he added.
CFSL teams visited the site on Monday and inspected the surrounding areas. When asked if any evidence will be lost due to the fire at the building’s basement, the SSP denied it. He said, “Evidence won’t be lost as CFSL will take samples of all the material which are present in the basement. With the samples, they will be able to identify different substances.”
Meanwhile, police have started to question the authorities for finding out the person responsible of the fire. “We have asked the
administration and the municipal corporation a few questions. We have asked them if they had ever inspected the place for any violations and if any notice was served to the building in the past,” said DSP (Central), Satish Kumar.