The building collapse in Chandni Mahal was waiting to happen because some registered bad characters of the area were getting the constructions carried out in collusion with the Delhi Police, some area politicians charged following the incident.
Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal said the illegal construction was being carried out right opposite the Chandni Mahal police station. “The Station House Officer knew fully well that the building was being constructed by registered bad characters and yet he did not intervene in the matter,” he alleged.
Claiming that it was not possible for such massive unauthorised constructions without the collusion of the local police, Mr. Iqbal said while he had repeatedly cautioned the police about this construction, no heed was paid to the warnings. “My cell phone records would show that I had called up both the SHO and the Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi to warn them about this building,” he said.
The Lok Janshakti Party leader said the criminal-police nexus in the area was preventing people from openly coming out against such constructions. “It is these very bad characters who had attacked me some days ago. This morning I and my party president Ram Vilas Paswan had met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to complain about such activities in the area.”
Former Chandni Chowk MP and BJP national general secretary Vijay Goel said there was no dearth of such illegal and dangerous constructions in the area. “In the past, I had raised the issue of such constructions and even taken out processions against them, but in vain. What has happened today is the result of a strong nexus between the corrupt Delhi Police, the MCD and the greedy builders.”
Warning of more such incidents, Mr. Goel said barely three-four buildings from the collapsed structure there is another white building which is known as “bina buniyaad ki imaarat” (foundation-less building) in the area. “The shopkeepers on the ground floor of this building had refused to vacate for its renovation and so the builders just went ahead and constructed five floors on top. This has been done without strengthening or relaying the foundation and so the building got its new name,” he quipped.
This is not all. Mr. Goel said it has become commonplace to find even seven-storey buildings in the area. “There is absolutely no stopping the greedy builders. They just bribe or browbeat the police and corporation staff and do things their own way. And when they find the going tough, they drag religion into the issue to ward off any resistance.”
Mr. Goel said what is worse is that these people use inferior quality material in the construction. “Right from iron, cement and concrete mix, everything is of poor quality because they just want to maximise their profits. They just give a beautiful exterior and finish to the building to fool the prospective buyers.”