Hours after the building collapsed at a congested locality in Sadar Bazaar, people living nearby said they were scared to enter their own homes. Meanwhile, a probe was launched into the incident, with authorities saying buildings that are in a “dilapidated condition” would come under scanner.
Raj Kamal, who lives with his family in the same lane where the collapsed residential complex was located, said they have moved to another house for the time being. “My house is old and I can’t say whether it will keep standing after this incident. There is so much of illegal construction in this locality,” said Kamal, who works in a factory.
Vijay Kumar, another local, said, “A portion of my house has been damaged; who will take responsibility? I don’t want to leave but I fear my house may fall any moment.” Reshma, who was inside her third-floor house at the time of the incident, said, “I will enter my house once the government declares it safe. Till then, I will stay with my relatives.”
When contacted, officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) said they plan to conduct a survey of the area. An official said the houses are so close to each other that no four-wheeler can enter the lanes. This was also the reason fire officials struggled to take fire tenders and cranes to the spot. NDMC Mayor Sanjiv Nayyar visited the spot to take stock of the rescue operations. NDMC spokesperson Yogendra Maan told The Indian Express that Nayyar has sought a detailed report from the deputy commissioner of the area.
Sources said the area comes under the category of ‘Special Area’ of ‘Master Plan 2021’. As per the Urban Development Ministry’s plan, construction here should start only by 2021, though many people continue to build homes without legal permission, sources said.