'Playing' it safe
MCD found only 45 'dangerous' buildings in Delhi in its pre-monsoon survey
Most Delhiites are circumspect while walking down the bylanes of old Delhi or areas like Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi, courtesy the dilapidated buildings that stand next to each other, with little breathing space. But if you go by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), everything is fine.
Believe it or not the MCD found only 45 'dangerous' buildings in its pre-monsoon, survey, conducted as part of the routine annual exercise earlier this year. An MCD official confirmed to MiD DAY that by August end nearly 17 lakh houses had been surveyed. Out of these, 363 houses were found repairable and 45 dangerous.
Traders in Walled City are surprised. "More than 20 per cent of the buildings you find in Walled City are dangerous. I don't know where their surveyer went," said, Narender Madan, General Secretary, Confederation of All India Traders Association.
Former mayor Farhad Suri, said, there is a cell in the MCD whose job is to identify the 'dangerous' buildings. "But it exists only on papers. It doesn't have requisite manpower," he said. Interestingly, more than 20 houses have collapsed in the city this monsoon season only including at Jamia Nagar, old Delhi, Dabri, Paharganj, Janakpuri and several other areas.
"Here also a nexus is at work, where a builder thinks he can get rich dividends, in connivance with MCD officials. The buildings are razed, otherwise it is very difficult to get sanctions for new structures as they have to come up as per new building byelaws," said an east Delhi councillor, who did not wish to be named. Delhi BJP chief and MCD councillor Vijender Gupta said: "It is not the administration only which is responsible for the mess. There are many dimensions to this issue."