East Delhi building collapse kills 16 natives of Bihar

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEW DELHI - At least sixteen natives of Bihar were killed in the four-storey building that collapsed in East Delhi’s congested Lalita Park locality on Monday night.

“We have identified a total of 16 people, out of whom, six were from Saharsa and ten were from Katihar district. We have also been told by the relatives that two others are still missing, as we have not been able to identify the dead bodies so far. We also went there (the site), and had a word with the SDM (sub-divisional magistrate) where the rubble is being picked up,” Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, Bihar’s resident commissioner, told reporters here today.

“The SDM told us that there are no more dead bodies in the debris now. So, the number of confirmed deaths is 67,” he added.

Chaturvedi further said arrangement would be made to take the bodies to Bihar for burial, if needed, adding that the state government would give Rs one lakh as compensation to each of the victims.

“The arrangements for the dead bodies are primarily made by the state administration, and if they are to be taken there (Bihar), we will make the arrangements. For the compensations, the scheme we have, that when the migrant labours come to other states and if they die, we give compensations to the family members. For this, we will do all the verifications and would give one lakh rupees each to the victims,” he added.

Delhi Government has appointed a one-member judicial commission to probe the incident in which at least 67 people were killed and 82 injured amid growing public outrage.

The inquiry, to be conducted by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Lokeshwar Prashad, will investigate all aspects of the incident including whether there was any procedural, administrative, and statutory lapses that led to the tragedy.

The government has asked Justice Prashad to file his report within three months.

Earlier on Tuesday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who visited the site, said that strict action would be taken against those found guilty for the incident.

Dikshit said people have been evacuated and the area would be surveyed to pinpoint more such houses that have weak foundations and have to be vacated.

“The identification process is being done. We have put the list. We are giving double the compensation. Injured people are being treated in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital. People living in the nearby buildings have been evacuated,” said Dikshit.

“There should be a survey, and a magisterial inquiry should been done. There will be some results to it. The builder is absconding and will be caught soon. He will be punished severely so that no such incidents occur in the future,” she added.

Lieutenant Governor said: “As far as the safety issue is concerned, it will be time-bound now. This has been discussed a lot before with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and, they should give importance to such matters, and even the building department. And, along these lines the inquiry will take place.

They have agreed to my suggestions.” (ANI)

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