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Governments not serious about 90 percent unsafe buildings in Delhi: HC

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday took strong objection to the central and Delhi governments showing apathy towards the issue of 90 percent of buildings in the capital being “structurally unsafe” to withstand a seismic zone (SZ) IV earthquake.

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A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed the central and Delhi governments to give a status report on action taken to ensure structural integrity of buildings here saying they were waiting for a “disaster to happen”. “The union of India and Delhi government are not interested (in the issue). And MCD is allowing all kinds of rampant illegal construction,” the bench remarked seeking their response within two weeks. “Only 10 percent of buildings in MCD areas are earthquake safety norm compliant, that means 9 out of 10 will flatten when earthquake comes. So, how much population will be wiped out, the bench asked the Center and MCD’s counsel.”

“Alarming position has been revealed that only 25 percent of capital’s areas is planned or approved while the rest 75 percent is unplanned or unauthorized. There are 17,000 unauthorized colonies here with no layout plan but they are in the process of regularization by the government,” the high court said. The MCD in its affidavit filed in the high court said: “The corporation is planning to seek help of IIT Delhi, Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, RITES, Indian Association of Structural Engineers Association etc to suggest ways and means of ascertaining the structural integrity of these buildings and steps to strengthen or retrofitting requirement in accordance with the provision of Modified Building Bye Laws. “The MCD also said old buildings and buildings in the unplanned areas do not have the record of their design and drawing details.

It further said the corporation was planning to launch a public awareness program in which people living in buildings about 30 or more years old will be asked to obtain a structural fitness certificate for their building from the impaneled structural engineers. The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava seeking directions to immediately determine the seismic stability of buildings in Delhi. In the PIL, Bhargava also sought direction to the authorities to take consequent remedial measures in a time bound manner in the larger public interest. “It is apparent that construction is carried out in these colonies without obtaining any approval from any authorities,” the PIL said adding that approximately 50 lakh people were staying in these unauthorized colonies.

(IANS)

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Kejriwal exposed as a liar: BJP leader

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, VOA
  • Arvind Kejriwal apologised to Bikram Singh Majithia
  • BJP leader says that this apology established himself
  • BJP also alleged that Kejriwal did nothing while state aced so many problems

A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging that he was involved in the drug trade, the BJP Delhi unit on Friday said he has exposed himself as a “liar”.

The BJP also alleged that he was doing nothing even while the people of the national capital were facing a number of issues due to sealing.

Arvind Kejriwal apologized to Bikram Singh Majithia. IANS

Addressing a press conference here, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit President Manoj Tiwari said: ” What we have been saying for long has been proved today. He is a liar. He has apologised to Majithia for making false allegations against him.”

“He is on his way to apologise to (Union Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley ji and (Union Transport Minister) Nitin Gadkari ji for making false allegations,” the BJP leader said. Kejriwal is facing defamation cases in court for levelling allegations against Jaitley and Gadkari.

Also Read: BJP Protests Outside Sisodia’s Residence, Demands Kejriwal’s Resignation

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief on Thursday apologised to the Shiromani Akali Dal leader in Punjab for making allegations of involvement in the drug trade, following which the latter said that he will withdraw a defamation suit filed in an Amristar court.

Tiwari, who represents the northeast Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha, accused Kejriwal of misleading the people over the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital.

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta accused the AAP chief of only rendering “lip service” on the sealing drive and urged the Chief Minister to hold an all-party meeting with the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring committee overseeing the drive.

“Since December last, Kejriwal is only doing lip service on the issue of sealing drive. He has done nothing to stop it,” Gupta, the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said.

He said that though Lt Governor Anil Baijal cleared the file for notifying 351 roads in the capital on February 8, the matter is still pending. “Why hasn’t he (Kejriwal) notified the 351 roads in the last 45 days?” Gupta asked.

BJP leaders are calling this apology a gimmick.

He also accused Kejriwal of hatching a conspiracy to mislead people by playing the emotional card of apology. Gupta warned the Monitoring Committee members not to act outside the law and said: “If the monitoring committee acts against law, then the BJP will oppose it.”

“We are going to inform the three municipal corporations of Delhi not to follow the commands of the Monitoring Committee if it goes against the law,” he said. “The MCDs should approach the court and also make Kejriwal a party,” the BJP leader added. IANS