The ceiling of Odeon Sweets in Connaught Place collapsed around 9.15 pm on Saturday. Located next to Unplugged Courtyard, the shop had been locked for some time. Following a recent decision by the NDMC to seal rooftop restaurants, the rooftop above the store, too, was unoccupied.
Officials of the NDMC, fire services and police reached the spot by 10.20 pm and broke open the locks of the shop. “Initially, we could not recognise the spot since it was dark. We saw a portion of the shutter bulging out. We broke open the lock and saw the debris inside. Some construction to strengthen the structure had taken place recently, but it had been done to provide additional support to the ceiling,” a senior fire department official said.
An NDMC official said, ‘The incident took place at L block in the middle circle. The roof had been sealed on February 3 by the NDMC, due to which a disaster was averted. The lower portion of the building, where the ceiling collapsed, was unoccupied. There was no board, but it was found to belong to Odeon Sweets. Had people been occupying the shop, it might have led to casualties.”
Earlier this month, a large portion of Connaught Place’s Block C caved in— the first time such an incident has taken place there. NDMC chairperson Naresh Kumar said, “We held a meeting in the morning where we had decided that structural stability certificates will be sought from all owners in CP within two weeks. Now, that process will be
Vikram Badhwar, secretary of the New Delhi Traders’ Association, said, “Owners are willing to rectify the structures but since the buildings are old, heritage committees are involved and approvals have to be sought. This takes time.”