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Rediff.com  » News » Delhi collapse: Diskshit slams MCD for asking people to vacate without shelters

Delhi collapse: Diskshit slams MCD for asking people to vacate without shelters

November 18, 2010 22:31 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday came down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Municipal Corporation of Delhi for asking occupants of 38 "dangerous" buildings in East Delhi to evacuate without arranging for their rehabilitation.

Dikshit, after a Cabinet meeting, said her government may provide shelter to the evicted people for a limited period although MCD should have borne the responsibility.  Following a building collapse in Lalita Park in Laxmi Nagar, the MCD on Wednesday asked occupants of 38 "dangerous" buildings in the area to evacuate at the earliest.

"Why are they evicting people without providing shelter to them? What are they doing. Everything is being done by us -- from giving compensation to providing all kinds of help," Dikshit said.

Asked whether city government will provide accommodation to people who are being evicted by the MCD, she said the government will hold a detailed deliberation on the issue and possibly come out with a policy soon. "We will have to look after them. They are our people," she said.

MCD officials said the residents were first asked to vacate in 24 hours but now it has been extended to 72 hours keeping in view the problems they are facing. They also said the Delhi government will arrange shelters for the residents.

At least 70 people have died in the building collapse on Monday night. Over 60 families, mostly labourers from West Bengal, were living in the cramped quarters of the 15-year-old building, where an illegal fifth floor was under construction.

Asked whether government was looking at the issue of illegal construction in the city following the building collapse, Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said the matter comes under the domain of MCD. The government had sent a draft bill, making changes in the building byelaws, to the Union urban development ministry three years back but it has not yet been approved by the ministry so far, he said.

"Complex issues are involved in the whole process. That is why we have decided to appoint a judicial probe to fix responsibility as well as suggest measures so that such incidents do not happen in future," Mehta added.

Sources said Dikshit will soon hold a meeting of Delhi urban shelter improvement board to frame policies for providing proper shelter to the poor and downtrodden.

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