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Delhi building collapse: MCD to survey unsafe buildings near Yamuna

November 16, 2010 21:06 IST

Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Tuesday said it is launching a survey to identify unsafe buildings near Yamuna riverbed in the city and ordered a vigilance probe into the house collapse disaster in east Delhi as it battled allegations of laxity in allowing illegal constructions in the congested area.

Municipal Commissioner K S Mehra said MCD will inquire into Monday night's incident in Lalita Park in Laxmi Nagar in which 66 people lost their lives.

"We will conduct a survey of all the buildings in the area and take adequate action, including demolition," he said.

He said he has directed the chief vigilance officer of Municipal Corporation of Delhi to conduct an internal inquiry into the house collapse and submit a comprehensive report to him within a period of four days.

The commissioner also directed officials to conduct a survey in the radius of 300 metres of the riverbed within the limits of Delhi to find out if there are other such buildings which may be effected by stagnation or seepage of flood water.

"If any building is found to be in a precarious condition, it should be got immediately vacated. MCD has already initiated the survey to identify houses which may prove to be dangerous due to seepage of river water," he said.

Mehra said that as per the direction of the Lt Governor, MCD would be conducting a survey in collaboration with Central Building Research Institute, New Delhi to find out if retrofitting is required in certain buildings to make them structurally safe.

However, if any building is found dangerous and cannot be made safe, it may require demolition, he said adding, the survey would be completed within a period of three months.

The commissioner also directed zonal deputy commissioners to ensure "zero tolerance" towards unauthorised constructions.

He said that prosecution should be launched against offenders not only under DMC Act but also under Indian Penal Code and FIRs should be lodged.

As death toll rose to 66 in one of the worst house collapse incidents in the national capital, the MCD faced flak from various quarters, including Delhi government over rampant illegal constructions in the unauthorized regularised colony where the mishap took place and other such areas in the city.

Holding MCD responsible for the incident, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the builder should not have been allowed to construct floors beyond permissible level and the quality of the building should also have been examined.

MCD standing committee chairman and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yogender Chandolia, however, sought to blame the Delhi government's flood and irrigation department over accumulation of water at the basement of the building that collapsed.

It is suspected that the water, which got collected there during flooding of the Yamuna during rains, could have weakened the foundation.

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