Delhi civic body suspends three civil servants; cops get day custody of owners – The New Indian Express


NEW DELHI: The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Tuesday suspended three officials in the Narenla area for alleged laxity in their duties following a massive building fire in Mundka that killed 27 people.

According to an official statement, Licensing Inspector Sandeep Kaushik, General Branch Section Officer SK Sharma and Property Tax Department Section Officer BR Meena from Narela area have been suspended.

“At first glance, this appears to be laxity on the part of the officials of the General Branch, the House Tax Department and the former Najafgarh Area Construction Department of the Unified MCD,” the statement said.

He also said 44 facilities were operating without a valid health business license and also without a no-objection certificate from the fire department.

“To prevent such incidents from happening again, all the sub-commissioners of the zones and the officers of the Factory Licensing Department and the Health Department have been instructed to carry out a detailed investigation of the factory units and the unauthorized restaurants operating in non-compliant areas and without FIR/NOC and Health License, etc.,” the statement read.

A survey in three civic body areas of North Delhi was carried out in non-compliant and compliant areas.

“In the City SP area, 44 units were found operating without a permit and 18 without NOC fire. In the Rohini area, 20 units were found operating in non-compliant areas and 20 without NOC fire,” the statement said.

He said the building that caught fire had a basement, ground floor, first, second and third floor.

Two bedrooms with a sheet metal shed were on the fourth floor.

A local investigation revealed that the basement was used for storage and the ground floor was vacant.

The road the building was on was neither commercial nor mixed, the statement said.

“Furthermore, according to Narela Zone Construction Department records, the building is approximately 11 years old. The property was reserved by Najafgarh Zone on March 8, 2011 and June 20, 2011.”

“The owner of the building paid the transformation costs from 2016 to 2018 on the basis of a self-assessment. No construction in progress is noted there. The owner never asked for the sanction of the construction plan “, said the civic body. He said the building was used for industrial purposes, which is not allowed. No valid factory license has been issued at this location,” he said.

The statement said the department was unaware of the fire no-objection certificate.

The civic body added that a conversion fee of Rs 4 lakh and a parking fee of Rs 2.66 lakh and a penalty of Rs 93,188 were only paid between 2016 and 2018 for the ground floor. pavement.

“According to the records, no property tax was paid by the owner/occupier of the premises and notices were issued by the department. Actions against the building were taken in 2019,” the statement read.

He said on the instructions of an oversight committee, a liquor store on the ground floor of the building was sealed in January 2019.

Following further orders in July 2019, the property was unsealed after the belongings were removed and since then the ground floor has been vacant.

“Further show cause notices to Dy. A&C and the Narela Area Joint Assessor and Collector have been issued. Disciplinary proceedings have also been initiated against the Junior Engineer of the Narela Area Construction Department Narela/Najafgarh area in January 2011 for December 2011 when the alleged construction took place,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Delhi police on Tuesday secured one-day custody of three men, including the owner of the building, as part of the investigation into the massive fire.

Of the 16 people injured, at least 10 recorded their statements.

Besides them, witness statements are recorded, they said.

A Delhi court has taken building owner Manish Lakra and his two brothers, Vijay and Harish Goel, who rented two floors in the building to run their business, into custody for a day for additional money. investigation, said a senior police officer.

“We need to collect blood samples from the brothers – Vijay and Harish Goel. We also need to know their backgrounds, details of their business and the clearances they have taken from the relevant authorities,” said Sameer Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of police (outside), mentioned.

Sharma said police have yet to check Lakra’s documents.

The officer said the police are asking relevant authorities, including the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, to provide documents relating to the building and the businesses within it for investigation.

“More than 100 pieces have been received by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). We have formed several teams for DNA examination. Now that we have received the samples, we are proceeding with the entire profiling process DNA. Since it is a complex process, it takes time,” said a senior FSL official.

DNA collection usually takes about one to two weeks.

It also depends on the condition of the samples, the official said.

Lakra was arrested at Ghevra Mod on his way to Haridwar in Uttarakhand on Sunday, two days after the incident.

He ran a real estate business and also owned a store on the ground floor of the building, police said, adding that his family members have not yet been found.

Lakra lived in a two-room house with a kitchen with his mother, wife and two children on the fourth floor of the same building.

They managed to escape to the adjacent building when the fire broke out, police said earlier.

The fire is believed to have started at a company that made and assembled CCTV cameras and routers, and has operated in the building since 2017.

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