Uttam Nagar house collapse: A week later

Uttam Nagar house collapse: A week later

Till 11:40 am on December 3, house number B5 of Uttam Nagar’s Shani Bazar Road was a bustling home to 10 members of a family, including two-year-old Jay, son of Gagan Sharma who lived on the ground floor.

However, tragedy struck soon after the building owned by Ramesh Sharma - a businessman living with his family on the first and second floor - collapsed, killing not only Jay but his mother, grandmother and landlady Savita as well.

A week later, the debris of the three-storey building is yet to be cleared. And the dust and rubble continue to haunt the neighbours who are yet to overcome the nightmare.

“It was really tragic. I knew the family very well. Now, they are gone. Some are dead, some living with the relatives trying to overcome the grief of the lost ones. However, the loud crashing sound and the sight of bodies that were pulled out from the rubble still flash across my eyes several times a day,” says Vibha, a neighbour.

According to locals, power supply in the area was disrupted for five days after the incident.

All the electric wires snapped due to the impact of the collapse. Sitting on a broken sofa on the debris, Tazeen Hussain Khan, a neighbour of Sharma and whose house developed cracks, said: “Look, they are providing electricity after a week. This would not have happened had the police and the Municipal Corporation Department officials acted on time.

They knew illegal construction was going on in the adjacent plot.”

‘Memorial’ site

However, the disaster site has turned into a sort of memorial for some people, who even travelled to the spot from far-off places. A young couple from Dwarka, Shalini and Pramod, speaking with Deccan Herald said that they took a detour from thier normal route to visit Uttam Nagar. “We saw it on the TV. A child was also killed in the incident. We thought of paying a visit,” said Shalini.

Though the MCD suspended an assistant engineer and a junior engineer of the area within hours of the incident, it is no consolation to Gagan Sharma who lost his child, and Ramesh Sharma whose wife died in the mishap.

The tragedy could have been averted only if the MCD officials had stopped the illegal digging on the adjacent empty plot that led to the caving in of their house. Or so allege the neighbours...

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