New Delhi, Sep 27 (PTI) A day after seven people were killed in the collapse of a five-story “weak” building, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Thursday discontinued the contract of an engineer, suspended two others and directed officials to carry out a fresh survey to identify dangerous properties. Also Read - Sushmita Sen's Bother Rajeev Sen And Wife Charu Asopa's Intimate Pictures go Viral, Get Brutally Trolled
As the three men booked in connection with the building collapse remained at large, policemen in plain clothes were deployed near their houses. Police suspect that the accused own some other buildings in the national capital. Also Read - ‘Inspiring Gesture’: PM Modi Thanks Supreme Court Judges For Contributing to PM-CARES Fund
According to the last survey conducted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), 181 buildings were found dangerous as on September 21. Also Read - World Champion Boglarka Kapas Among Nine Hungarian Swimmers Infected With Coronavirus
The five-storey building collapsed on Wednesday, three weeks after the 20-year-old structure in Sawan Park in west Delhi’s Ashok Vihar was “inspected” by a municipal team following complaints.
The deceased were identified as Seema (24), her children Ashi (three) and Shaurya (two), her brother-in-law Laxman (25), Munni Devi (35), and two brothers Rajnesh (four) and Sumnesh (12).
Five others — Nisha, Munni Devi’s husband Raj Bahadur and their guests Kamla Shankar and Vijay, and Seema’s sister Manju — are hospitalised and their condition is stated to be stable, police said.
On Thursday, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) suspended an executive engineer and an assistant engineer and terminated the contract of a junior engineer.
NDMC authorities also directed officials to carry out a fresh survey of houses to identify dangerous properties and also asked them to complete the exercise in a week’s time.
“Under the orders of the competent authority, Rajesh Sharma, Executive Engineer (M)-II/Keshav Puram Zone is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect pending inquiry against him.
“Under the orders of the competent authority, Abhay Jain, Assistant Engineer (Civil) presently posted in the office of EE (M)-II Keshav Puram Zone is hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect pending inquiry against him,” said another order issued by the NDMC’s Vigilance Department.
The area falls under the Keshav Puram Zone of the BJP-led civic body.
Probing the matter, the police questioned family members of the three accused — Dharmender, his business partner Sachin and the latter’s father Roshan Lal. They family members told police that they had no clue about the trio’s whereabouts.
“They live in the same locality where the incident happened on Wednesday morning. We are also trying to identify their relatives, whom they could have contacted,” a police officer said.
Police are also probing whether Lal is connected to any government agency, since some locals alleged that he has strong connections.
Sources said the accused trio have constructed over 20 buildings and three others were under construction in the area.
Residents of Sawan Park also said they were afraid after the incident about their safety since many other buildings are in the same condition.
Sanjeev Gupta, the owner of a shop on the ground floor of the ill-fated building, had filed a complaint online with the civic body about the dilapidated condition of the building in August last year.
Gupta had alleged it was only after a year and 13 days that the municipal officials inspected the building and said it was in a bad condition, the officer said.
“We are probing whether negligence was in any way responsible for the incident,” the police officer said.
The post-mortem of the deceased was carried out at Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital on Thursday. At the hospital, the families and relatives were in a state of shock.
Umesh, who lost his wife, two children and brother in the incident, was accompanied by his six-year-old daughter Rishika, who was asking about her mother and siblings, a relative said.
Bimlesh, who lost his sons in the incident, was in a similar state, as he waited for the post-mortem to get over, a relative said.
Police have registered a case under IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), punishable with a maximum jail term of 10 years, against the trio, who had rented out the building.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and North Delhi Mayor Adesh Gupta had visited the accident site at Sawan Park Wednesday.
Gupta had ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident, saying “strict action” would be taken against the guilty.
The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
While police have claimed that the building was inspected 20 days ago following complaints to the municipal body that it was in “dangerous” condition, the NDMC had Wednesday claimed that the building was not declared “dangerous” and it had not received any complaint against it.
The civic body, however, admitted that the building was about 20-25 years old and its structure was “weak” and in a “deteriorated condition”, while asserting that no new construction activity or construction material was found at the site.
The BJP-ruled North Delhi civic body has come under fire from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress after the incident, with Kejriwal, blaming the municipal corporation for not fulfilling its responsibility of safety of buildings.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.