Just behind the four-storey building that came crashing on Thursday is another built by the same person. There, rooms have been rented out to migrants working in Gurgaon. For the residents of this building, the collapse has come as a warning.
“Around 40-50 of us live in 25 rooms in this building. I moved here around four months ago; I pay Rs 1,200 for a room that I share with another person. But after this incident, I will look for another place to stay,” said Giren Singh, who hails from Allahabad and works as a security guard in Gurgaon.
“Our building is in a very bad condition. We have told the landlord to get it repaired and maintain it. He said he would make repairs once the new building was constructed. Now, it is not worth the risk to stay here,” he said.
Following the collapse, officials evacuated a building adjoining it, stating that it was also in danger of crumbling.
“The left side of the adjoining building has cracks… The owners have extended the construction and built small toilets on the landings of the upper floors. Fissures can be seen on the walls of these toilets,” said Anil Kumar Singh, Assistant Commandant of the National Disaster Response Force.
“The building has been evacuated as a safety measure,” confirmed Assistant Divisional Fire Safety officer I S Kashyap, adding that residents have sought refuge in the homes of their neighbours.
Minutes before the collapse, residents spotted its owner, Dayaram, milking two cows that he kept in a small enclosure in the verandah. “He was leading them out of the lane to take them for grazing when the structure came down. By the time he returned, the building was reduced to rubble,” said Monu (24), who lives in the neighbourhood.