May 18, 2022 2:45:24 am
Based on the findings of the probe ordered in the Mundka fire that claimed 27 lives, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Tuesday suspended licensing inspector Sandeep Kaushik, section officer of general branch S K Sharma and section officer of house tax department B R Meena of Narela Zone for laxity.
“These three officers were suspended as their role was to ensure that no commercial activities or factories should operate in Lal Dora area,” said a senior North MCD official privy to the investigation. The civic body will also initiate vigilance inquiry action against a junior engineer posted in the area in 2011-2012 when the building came up, North MCD commissioner Sanjay Goel told The Indian Express.
“The building was booked but still it went on to be constructed, so the department will initiate inquiry against him also,” he said.
Prima facie, it appears to be a laxity on the part of the officials of the general branch, house tax department and erstwhile building department of the then Najafgarh Zone of unified MCD, the official said.
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The report said the building consists of a basement, ground, first, second and third floors and two rooms with attached bathrooms along with one tin shed on the fourth floor.
As per records of the building department of Narela Zone, the construction is about 11 years old.
“The property was booked by the then Najafgarh Zone on 08.03.11 and 20.06.11. The owner of the building has paid conversion charges since 2016 to 2018 on basis of self-assessment. No ongoing construction is noticed. The owner has never applied for sanction of building plan,” as per the probe report.
It adds: “The building was being used for industrial purpose, which is not allowed in the said area/premises being extended Lal Dora area. No valid factory licence has been issued to the factory at this location… Therefore, the department is not aware (of the matter) regarding obtaining fire NOC (no objection certificate) from fire department.”
As per records, no property tax has been paid by the owner/occupier of the premises and notices were issued by the department. In the past, action was taken against the building in 2019. As per directions of monitoring committee, a liquor shop, running at the ground floor, was sealed on January 24, 2019. Thereafter, as per the order of monitoring committee dated July 24, 2019, the property was de-sealed after removing belongings and accordingly ground floor was lying vacant, the report states.
North MCD commissioner Sanjay Goel said that in order to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, all deputy commissioners of zones and officers of the factory licensing department and health department have been directed to carry out a detailed survey of unauthorised factory units or restaurants operating in non-conforming areas and without fire NOC and health licence.
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