Building collapse: MCD`s vacation notices to 38 `unsafe` structures

MCD served vacation notices to 38 buildings where Yamuna water had seeped into basements.

New Delhi: Waking up to the threat posed by
illegal constructions after the Laxmi Nagar tragedy, the MCD
on Wednesday asked the occupants of 38 "dangerous" buildings in the East Delhi area to evacuate "at the earliest" but there seems
to be no proper plan for providing shelter to them.

"During a survey, basements of at least 38 buildings were
found to be filled with water. We have issued notice to vacate
these houses immediately for the residents` safety," Municipal
Corporation of Delhi spokesperson Deep Mathur said.

The MCD said it may also demolish the building adjoining
the collapsed house as well as another building nearby owned
by the same builder if they are found unsafe.

The preventive action has come in the wake of Monday
night`s building collapse in the congested Lalita Park in
Laxmi Nagar that has claimed 67 lives. The basement of the
four-storey building was waterlogged for the last two months
since Yamuna water flooded the area, authorities said.

"On the basis of the survey carried out in Lalita Park
and adjoining colonies, MCD served vacation notices to 38
buildings where it was found that Yamuna water had seeped into
basements. It appeared that the water was stagnating in
basements for a long period," MCD said in a press statement.

"MCD`s technical teams assessed that the water might have
seeped into the foundation of the buildings, thereby posing
danger to the structures...owners and residents of these
buildings have been served notice to vacate buildings at the
earliest," it said.

However, when enquired about the alternative
accommodation or temporary shelter to be provided to the
residents of the 38 buildings that have been declared unsafe,
apparent lack of coordination and planning came to the fore.

The MCD said in its statement that "Divisional
Commissioner of GNCTD (Delhi government) is organising relief
arrangements for the weaker sections of society affected by
the vacation notices".

East Delhi district Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) S S
Ghonkrokta said people from two adjoining buildings were
asked to vacate and now Delhi government is providing food and
shelter to them. "We have already made arrangements in two
community centres where around 200 people can be

However, he said MCD did not inform the Delhi government
about the vacation notices served on 38 unsafe buildings.

A senior MCD leader, on condition of anonymity, admitted
that there is "lack of coordination between the corporation
and Delhi government and lack of planning to accommodate the
people of these buildings."

When contacted, Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya said the
civic body will set up shelters for such people, if necessary.


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