Dwarka: The markets of one of the most well-planned sub-cities by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in Delhi, Dwarka, are lacking in fire infrastructure. The walls alongside staircases in markets such as Sector 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, and 12 among others, also called Mixed Land Use (MLUs), are loaded with meters and electrical fittings. Thus, naked wires are a common sight there. This reflects the poor planning of infrastructure by DDA. Such electrical fittings and naked wires have caused fire several times in these markets.
Such electrical wirings and meters on staircases are also a violation of the National Building Code. The NBC says that no electrical shaft, AC ducts or gas pipe, etc shall pass through or open in the staircases. Stairs should be supplemented by lifts and ramps. However, in these markets, rampant violations of such codes could be seen.
Gautam Kumar, a Civil Engineer and an expert on this subject says, “Such things are serious and must be taken into account. There should be no electrical fittings or wirings in the staircases. This is because such thing could cause fire incident any time and that could lead a serious threat to human lives.”
In some of the markets, the situation has improved because of the collective efforts of residents. However, a lot of markets are still grappling with this issue. Sunny Kumar, a worker at Sector 5 market says, “The situation of all the markets in this particular subject is pathetic. The naked wires can cause electric shock. A fire incident happened in 2012 in Plot Number 13 and the issue was taken into account. The wires and fittings were changed. However, the situation has gotten worse now.”
The electrical fittings, meters and wires, panels, and boxes fixed on the walls along the staircases also make the stairs congested. On the other hand, the shape and size of the stairs are not proper shape and size, as per NBC. People of the market at Sector 11 shared that in 2010, there was a fire in Sector 11 market due to short-circuit in the electrical fittings in a staircase.
President of Dwarkadheesh Apartments, Sector 12 Anjana Sinha says, “Neither the civic bodies nor the community or market people take it seriously. This subject is very serious and must be taken into concern by the civic bodies.”
On the subject, DDA officials have accepted that there was a fault in the design and said that nothing can be done in this regard now. They also said that they can only get better if higher officials take matters into their hands. However, the higher officials were reluctant to say anything.