The building in Bhajanpura, where five people lost their lives, was undergoing additional construction without requisite permission, it is learnt. The building owner was allegedly getting a fourth floor made while a portion of it collapsed.
MCD rules state one has to get the layout plan passed by the civic body before constructing a new building or adding floors.
Mayor Anju Kamalkant claimed there was no fresh construction taking place, hence no permission had been taken. An East MCD official claimed the building owner was getting repairs done when the collapse took place.
Leader of Opposition in the East MCD, Rohit Kumar, said the incident suggests the BJP-ruled civic body has failed to ensure the safety of buildings in the capital. “Whenever there is a new construction in the capital, officials come to extort money, but the same officials cannot ensure safety standards are maintained during construction,” he said.
In the wake of the May, 2019 fire at a Surat coaching centre that killed 22 students, the East civic body had started a drive to identify coaching centres violating rules, and had taken action against two in Laxmi Nagar. “The idea was to identify coaching centres that were violating safety standards or had not paid conversion charges. The incident suggests the whole exercise was rudderless,” Kumar said.
Kamalkant, however, said this was not a coaching centre but one where people were giving private tuition.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the site of the incident, tweeted: “I am pained by tragic death of four students and owner of the coaching institute. One illegal floor was being constructed which collapsed. Inquiry is being ordered. Guilty shall not be spared. Sending proposal for compensation to EC for approval.”
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