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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

At time of fire, post of licensing inspector in Mundka was vacant

Sushil Gautam was posted as inspector on Friday, the same day the fire broke out. His predecessor Sandeep Kumar Kaushik was relieved on May 4, and from then till May 13, the post was vacant.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: May 16, 2022 10:38:06 pm
As reported by The Indian Express, it has also come to light earlier that the owner of the four-storey commercial building got a factory licence for the premises under a self-assessment scheme in 2016. (Express Photo)

The Mundka ward, where 27 people died in a fire at an office complex, had the post of licensing inspector lying vacant for 10 days leading up to the incident.

Sushil Gautam was posted as inspector on Friday, the same day the fire broke out. His predecessor Sandeep Kumar Kaushik was relieved on May 4, and from then till May 13, the post was vacant.

Area councillor Anil Lakra claimed that after the fire, orders were issued in a hurry by authorities to appoint Gautam as licensing inspector. “It is the duty of the licensing inspector to see such violations, whether the commercial establishments operating in the area have licence or not.”

North Delhi Municipal Corporation standing committee chairperson Jogi Ram Jain said he will get this looked into. A senior official of the North MCD said: “It is a small window when the post was vacant; for the rest of the period there were people in the position.”

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As reported by The Indian Express, it has also come to light earlier that the owner of the four-storey commercial building got a factory licence for the premises under a self-assessment scheme in 2016. However, the North MCD cancelled it after it was found that the building did not meet specific criteria.

In 2019, a liquor store was also opened on the ground floor, which was sealed by the monitoring committee formed by the Supreme Court to act against illegal construction in the national capital for violations. Sources in the North MCD said the owner closed the shop and paid a penalty, following which the space was de-sealed in 2020.

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