Police, MCD in blame game over building collapse
New Delhi: Police and MCD were on Wednesday locked
in a war of words over the building collapse in Old Delhi with
the civic agency seeking to put the blame on cops for not
taking action against illegal construction at the site, a
charge which was immediately rebutted.
The blame game started as a senior MCD official claimed
that the civic body had informed the police a fortnight ago
about "dangerous" digging activity being carried out by the
owner of the building which collapsed along with another in
Chandni Mahal yesterday.
The official claimed Deputy Commissioner (City Zone)
Krishna Kumar wrote to Station House Officer of Chandni Mahal
police station that illegal construction was taking place in
one of the buildings, which collapsed yesterday, but alleged
that the cops did not take any action.
However, Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range)
Sudhir Yadav denied the allegations and claimed police had not
received any complaint from the Deputy Commissioner regarding
the illegal construction.
"As per the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, the Deputy
Commissioner has to give a complaint in writing to police
about the activity. Here, we have not received any complaint
from the official but a copy of the letter given to the owner
of the building asking him to stop the illegal construction.
"There was no specific instruction or direction in the
communication received by us. It was just a copy of the letter
given to the owner on September 16 and we cannot take action
on this," Yadav told agency.
However, he said, police had gone to the spot and had
asked the contractor and owner not to carry out any illegal
activities there on September 25. "Police's role was limited
in this case," he said.
Yadav said police always provide assistance to MCD
whenever they seek it for carrying out sealing or demolition
"We cannot carry out sealing or demolition drives. It
is the job of the MCD. We give them assistance in carrying out
these drives," he said.
If there is a complaint from the MCD, he said, then
only police can take any action.
He said the MCD has to file a report in court for
getting a building sealed if there is illegal construction and
seek its permission.
According to Section 466(A) of DMC Act, police can
take action against a person who indulges in illegal
construction only if there is a complaint from such an officer
of the Corporation, not being below the rank of a Deputy
In this context, Yadav said, police had little role in
this particular case as there was no intimation or direction
from the officer.
Seven persons, including four women and a minor boy,
were killed and 22 injured when two adjacent buildings collapsed in
Chandni Mahal in Old Delhi's Daryaganj area last night.
Owner Anil was allegedly carrying out some
construction work at his building which collapsed due to digging work.
Police has registered a case of culpable homicide
against Anil and contractor Haji Jalaluddin.