A senior NDMC official said that several incidents of building collapse had been reported from Connaught Place.
New Delhi: Following the partial collapse of a building in Connaught Place, the shopowners who have been running the show for over two decades are now concerned about the safety concerns raised over the deplorable condition of the entire structure.
Owner of the well-known Jain Book Store Nabhi Kumar Jain said that the buildings were not being maintained properly and were growing weaker with the passage of time.
The bookstore is in part of the same building. “For the last few years there has been a serious problem of seepage in these buildings during the rains, which is weakening the old foundations of these buildings. Also, during rains, there is no proper channel through which the water can be emptied and hence it results into seepage. The authorities should carry out regular maintenance work to make sure that the buildings are not in a deplorable condition,” he said.
Seconding the views of Mr Jain, area manger of famous clothing brand, Mr Tiwari, whose store is located on the ground floor just above where the building collapse took place blames the burgeoning number of heavy generators, which have been kept on the terraces of these buildings. “I have been working with Zodiac since 1985 and have been here in C block and the condition of have majorly deteriorated. No proper check has been carried out by the authorities. Many walls have developed cracks, which are only growing deeper. If one notices, tree shoots have stated growing in the buildings abruptly.”
A senior NDMC official said that several incidents of building collapse had been reported from Connaught Place but the NDMC department has failed to perform its basic duty to check the structural strength of these buildings. He added that no one knew when the last structural safety audit was done. “With each passing year, the foundation of buildings is getting weaker and the load over them has increased many fold posing a grave danger to these historic buildings,” he said adding that illegal constructions were also rampant in CP.
“Till 2010, there were only 70 restaurants. Now there are about 170 restaurants. But no steps have been taken to strengthen these buildings. Permission is not being granted in the name of heritage structures or Heritage Conservation Committee to repair the weaken structures,” he said.