Residents in fear after collapse of balconies at premium flats in Dwarka
Dwarka: Two balconies of upper floors collapsed on the ground floor’s balcony at Harmony Apartments in Sector 4, Dwarka on Sunday evening. It has caused a widespread fear among people about the quality of construction that is being done of late.
Ever since the news broke, people are aghast as the incident happened at an upscale society where the cost of flats ranges between Rs 1 to 1.5 crore. They expect such flats to be strong enough to withstand the test of time and also capable of withstanding earthquakes.
The RWA Secretary of Harmony Apartments, Arvind Rudra, seemed visibly frustrated after the incident.
He expressed his anger and worryingly said, “These houses exist at the mercy of the almighty. They have been constructed with minimal intervention of the DDA. The houses were not designed prudently. The hanging balconies had no support and there was no one who could tell how to maintain them.”
“The tall claims of the buildings being capable of withstanding the earthquake have turned out to be a farce. The pillars are cracking, balconies are collapsing and what not. This could have been really dangerous causing fatal injuries to the residents. The irony is that despite these flats belonging to the premium sector, there is no one responsible for the incident. We have already written to the police, local councillor, DDA and LG office. Only the PM and the CM are left. It is high time for the authorities to wake up and take corrective steps before it is too late,” he said.
He concluded, “Today, officials visited here from various agencies but they still could not manage to clear the debris to check the safety measures there. It was surprising for me that they could not notice the tilting of the balcony and cracks on the uppermost floor. They should take it seriously.”
Manish Suman, who is living in flat number 174, shared, “There was a crack in our balcony and on the complaint of seepage from downstairs, we called the landlord. We were not using that balcony. He came here to see how the gap could be repaired. We witnessed that the gap was increasing. After seeing this, he assured us that he will make it repaired soon. As soon as he was leaving the flat, we heard a loud thud. This is serious and alarming.”
Tina Parashar, who recently shifted to flat number 173, said, “We just shifted in my father’s flat and were very happy that there are balconies. But this incident of balcony collapse has shaken us. Just before the incident, my daughter was on the same balcony talking on the phone. She is 13 years old and still in shock. Concerned authority must take it seriously as it is a matter of our lives.”
The two balconies fell on the ground floor’s balcony. As shared by Sudhir Kumar, who lives at ground floor, his pregnant wife escaped narrowly from the incident.
“She was at the same place doing some work where the two balconies fell down. Fortunately, she went inside five minutes before the fall. It was horrible to imagine what could have happened. This is dangerous and DDA must look upon it. Today, DDA officials, police officials and people from the disaster management department visited my house,” he said.
On the matter, one of the DDA officials on condition of anonymity said, “The SFS houses in Pocket 1, Sector 4 are not under the scheme of 30 years maintenance and the RWA is maintaining them. These flats were constructed in 1997-98. No such complaint was received in the past as well.”