In Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, a house collapsed, killing 2 persons.

In Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, a house collapsed, killing 2 persons.

A heart-wrenching incident occurred in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh, where a three-story dilapidated building collapsed, leading to the untimely demise of a 30-year-old woman and her three-year-old son. The unfortunate event took place on Tuesday, leaving the woman’s one-and-a-half-year-old daughter as the sole survivor. The building had been abandoned for several years, and despite being a potential hazard, the owner remains untraceable. The Delhi government, in a compassionate move, announced compensation for the victim’s family.

The incident unfolded when a portion of the building collapsed, fatally injuring the woman, identified as Mamata, who resided on the ground floor along with her family and relatives, acting as the building’s caretaker. The building, situated in Arihant Nagar, had been left unattended for a significant period, with no occupants except for Mamata’s family. Tragically, she and her husband also operated a tea stall on the building’s ground floor.

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According to police reports, the building’s ownership was disputed between two brothers engaged in a legal battle, making it difficult to ascertain responsibility for its upkeep and safety.

The dilapidated structure, nearly 40 years old, had not undergone repair or maintenance for a long time. Nevertheless, Mamata and her family had been residing there for the past few years, sharing the living space with five to six other relatives.

The fateful day saw Mamata’s husband and other family members away for work when the disaster struck. Their one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, fortunately, escaped the tragedy as she was playing at a distance from the collapsing portion of the building.

Upon receiving the distress call, the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) sprung into action, arriving at the spot near Maharaj Banquet Hall in West Punjabi Bagh at around 1 p.m. The rescue team found that a covered area of the old three-story building had collapsed, trapping Mamata and her son Anshul beneath the debris.

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The duo remained trapped for almost an hour before being rescued by the fire department team and labourers from a nearby construction site. Despite the efforts made to save them, Mamata and her young son could not be revived and were declared dead at a nearby hospital.

The tragedy has left the family devastated and heartbroken, and it has also sparked concern among the local community. A 16-year-old relative of Mamata, who was present during the incident, recounted the harrowing experience. The collapse had caused a large portion of the balcony to fall on the cot where Mamata and her son were seated. Immediate efforts were made by labourers to remove the concrete debris, but its weight made it difficult to handle. The rescue operation involved using a crane, but it malfunctioned, further complicating the situation. Eventually, the firemen and labourers managed to rescue the victims, but it was too late to save their lives.

As the investigations into the heartbreaking incident continue, authorities have now identified the family that owns the collapsed building. The scrutiny of the building’s documents will play a pivotal role in determining accountability in this tragic case where precious lives were lost.

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In response to the calamity, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has initiated its inquiry to comprehend the circumstances that led to the building’s collapse and the subsequent loss of lives. This parallel investigation aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to the devastating incident.

Demonstrating compassion and empathy, the Delhi government announced a compensation of Rs. 20 lahks for the kin of the victims. This move seeks to support the grieving family during their time of immense sorrow and distress. Furthermore, PWD Minister Atishi’s visit to the site offered her condolences and provided additional support to the bereaved family, reaffirming the government’s commitment to stand by its citizens during such trying times.

The tragedy underscores the pressing need for better regulation and maintenance of old and dilapidated buildings in the city. The identification and proactive handling of structures that pose potential hazards must be a top priority to prevent similar incidents in the future. This demands a collective effort from all stakeholders, including the government, building owners, and communities, to collaborate and ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

The incident has deeply impacted the hearts of many, and the pain felt by the victim’s family resonates across the community. It serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of safety and maintenance in our urban infrastructure. Preventable tragedies like this demand immediate action and a commitment to rectify existing shortcomings.

While the Delhi government’s gesture of providing compensation offers some solace to the bereaved family, it is crucial to address the root causes of such incidents. The focus should be on preventing future occurrences, safeguarding the lives of citizens, and ensuring that no family has to endure such a profound loss.

In light of this tragedy, a comprehensive approach to urban safety is imperative. Regular inspections and assessments of buildings, especially those showing signs of deterioration, must be conducted, and necessary repairs or reinforcements must be undertaken promptly. Moreover, robust regulations and mechanisms for reporting and addressing concerns related to building safety need to be established and strictly enforced.

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Additionally, public awareness campaigns can play a vital role in encouraging citizens to report potential hazards and fostering a sense of responsibility among building owners to maintain their properties adequately. Furthermore, the government can collaborate with relevant stakeholders to provide financial incentives or assistance for building renovations and upgrades, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas.

As the victim’s family mourns their irreplaceable loss, the entire community must rally together to support them and advocate for lasting change. The tragic incident serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of prioritising safety and maintenance in our urban landscapes. By working collaboratively, we can honour the memory of those lost by ensuring a safer and more secure environment for all.

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