NEW DELHI: The owners of a 100-year-old building in Delhi have approached the Delhi high court seeking its structural inspection by the municipal corporation.
Fearing that the building, occupied by tenants, may collapse anytime due to its dangerous condition, the owners urged the HC to shift the responsibility for a building collapse in future on the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the tenants.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru, earlier this week, directed the municipal corporation to conduct a detailed inspection of the property and take appropriate action. Filed by Rajinder Kumar Aggarwal Dharamshala Trust, which owns the building in Shahdara, the petition urged the HC to order a survey of all such buildings if they have not been inspected by the corporation.
The trust argues that this is the only way to make "recalcitrant EDMC officials take their statutory functions seriously and take action" to prevent such tragedies.
"The building is dangerous and can collapse anytime leading to a mishap. An unauthorized occupant is preventing the trust from taking remedial action," the trust said in its plea, citing the case of collapse of a building in Lalita Park in 2010 where 71 people died and many were injured.
In its plea the Trust through its counsels Pranav Jain and Shobha Aggarwal submitted that it is helpless to take any action due to objections by the tenants and should be absolved of any civil or criminal liability arising out of any mishap because of the dangerous state of the building.
EDMC must also make public the list of dangerous buildings in the area under its jurisdiction by putting it on its website and also by publication in major dailies, the petition further argued, while urging the court to intervene.
However, Justice Bakhru disposed of the plea by limiting himself to issuing directions to the EDMC to inspect and certify if the Shahdara building is safe for habitation.