Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya: Out of all the worst disaster’s to ever occur in Delhi, this type of disaster called Building Collapse is considered one of the worst. But yet, it’s always dealt with the usual sarkari blame-game, perfunctory inspections and enquiries that are rarely followed up with action.
Delhi had once witnessed a similar cycle of events when a five-storey building collapsed in northwest Delhi’s Sawan Park where seven people were killed. Delhi government ordered a magisterial enquiry and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation requested a fresh survey of all buildings under its jurisdiction.
The rules state that the surveyors must look into buildings that are more likely to fall or are considered dangerous to neighbourhood properties by looking through the most visible signs such as cracks or a tilt. The structural safety of a building is checked only if it is in the most distressed state. If so then the owners are asked to immediately repair or demolish the structure, if they don’t comply, the corporation can then evict the occupants and repair or demolish the building at the owner’s cost.
Besides the usual old-age and decay, most buildings in Delhi are threatened by structural fragility. In order to have better enforcement, the city needs to create an agency comprising building officials, structural experts, residents associations, police and disaster management agencies.