‘Human life worth more than Rs 5 lakh’: Gautam Gambhir slams Arvind Kejriwal after Karol Bagh firehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/gautam-gambhir-hotel-arpit-palace-karol-bagh-fire-5579792/

‘Human life worth more than Rs 5 lakh’: Gautam Gambhir slams Arvind Kejriwal after Karol Bagh fire

Former Delhi cricketer Gautam Gambhir has slammed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal after he announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for families of those who were hurt in Karol Bagh fire.

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Hotel Arpit Palace was the location of the fire in Karol Bagh. (Express photo)

Former India and Delhi cricketer Gautam Gambhir has hit out at Delhi at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the regulators in the aftermath of the tragic fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in the capital’s Karol Bagh area early Tuesday (February 12) morning. As it stands, the fire has claimed lives of 17 people with nine injured and the toll could rise.

Gambhir’s remarks against the ruling party Aam Aadmi Party came after the city government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for families. In a tweet, the former Indian cricketer said: “Surely a human life is worth much more than INR 5 lakh Arvind Kejriwal. It underlines what our machinery thinks about us, d common man. Compensation is merely a bandaid on an oozing wound whereas Delhi needs surgeries and it should begin with a systemic overhaul.”

Further slamming the regulators, the cricketer stated the hotel is near Gautam Gambhir Foundation’s office and was aware of the rules and regulations being ignored in the name of commercial interests. He tweeted, “It’s so sad to see the callousness of regulators with regards to building laws being traded with loss of human lives. This hotel is right next to the GGF office and I know first hand how parking rules, building laws are conveniently flouted for commercial interests. Disgusting.”

At least 25 fire tenders responded to a call at 4.30 am to conduct rescue operations. Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. While 13 bodies were shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, the remaining four were taken to Lady Hardinge Medical College and BLK Hospital.

Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain said, “According to building bylaws, buildings cannot be over four-storeys (parking & four storeys) in this area. But I found several constructions across the area in complete violation of the norms. I have ordered the fire department to review all the buildings and submit daily reports starting today. Buildings that have violated the norms will be sealed. There are brazen violations here (in this area).”

The four-storey hotel, which had 35 rooms, was completely booked by a family which was in Delhi for a function, informed Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg.

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