MCD blamed for Lalita Park building collapse



New Delhi: Squarely blaming the BJP-ruled MCD for the 2010 Lalita Park building collapse in which 70 people died, an inquiry appointed by Delhi government has castigated the civic body for "miserably failing" in finding out the existence of the unauthorised structure for several years.

The Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Justice Lokeshwar Prasad also took a dig at the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for its failure in preventing the owner of the building from adding several floors to the unauthorised structure.

Seventy people, mostly migrants from Bihar and West Bengal, were killed in the building collapse that took place on November 15, 2010 in Lalita Park locality in East Delhi.

Several floors were added in an unauthorised manner to the structure which came crashing down like a pack of cards due to accumulation of water in the ground floor.

Since the owner, Amrit Singh, began construction on the land in 1988 in Lalita Park, when the area was already with MCD, the regulation of building activities was the responsibility of the civic body and its functionaries, the CoI said in its report, which was tabled in the Delhi Assembly on Wednesday.

Blaming the Building and Tax Departments of the MCD for their failure in concluding that the building was unauthorised construction, the report said, "All these departments of MCD have miserably failed in discharging their statutory duty on their own, independently much so less in co-ordination with each other."

It said even if one department had done its duty by being vigilant and bringing the real facts to the fore, the "unfortunate building" would not have been constructed in a "haphazard manner".

"The Commission is at a loss to understand as to the purpose of having such a huge department with mammoth workforce, empowered with statutory arsenal, if an individual can still have his way in blatant violation of law," it said.

Pulling up the DDA for not co-operating with it by giving required details and reports, the Commission concluded that the responsibility of the DDA is no less than that of the MCD for the collapse of the building.

PTI