Three days after five people were killed in a building collapse in West Delhi’s Vishnu Garden, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is set to lodge a complaint against the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), alleging that negligence on the latter’s part led to the mishap.
“Residents have told our officials that the DJB replaced sewer lines in the area in the last few months. The street is only ten feet wide and this building had been constructed on a corner plot around 25 years ago. The last two storeys were added seven years ago. When the DJB was carrying out repair work of sewer lines, they dug up the area but did not seek permission from the corporation before doing so. The corporation is not at fault here,” the official said.
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Members of the SDMC’s Standing Committee have urged Chairperson Radhey Shyam Sharma to file an FIR against DJB. “The complaint will be filed by Wednesday,” said Sharma .“We have constituted an inquiry under the concerned additional commissioner to look into the facts and submit a report regarding the reasons behind the lapses and roles of the concerned departments,” he added.
The corporation has already suspended three officials – the executive engineer, assistant engineer and junior engineer of the ward – on charges of negligence.
But DJB officials have refuted charges of negligence and claimed that the sewer lines in the area were replaced over six months ago. “No work in the area was carried out recently. In- situ rehabilitation of sewer lines was completed in the area six to eight months ago and there are no pipeline leakages there. If you look at the locality, there is a lot of unauthorised construction there. It is wrong on the part of the corporation officials to put the blame on us. They are trying to cover up their own shortcomings,” a senior DJB official said.