The mixed land use (MLU) markets in Dwarka have a basic fault in its design as the electric panels are placed at the staircases. Moreover, the ill-maintenance of these electric panels poses serious threats to the hordes of market visitors who use these staircases every day.
The naked wires, open fittings and other such things can be easily seen in the markets in Sector 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 etc.
According to the norms, the placing of electric panels at staircase is also a violation of National Building Code. It is more intriguing that these markets, which has been designed and constructed by DDA and other builders, come under the ambit of National Building Code.
The situation becomes more alarming because many incidents of fire have happened in these markets in the past. The incidents of fire have mostly happened during the summer.
Although there hasn’t been a major incident of fire, at the same time, risks arising out of the position of electronic panels cannot be discounted.
According to National Building Code, electrical wiring or fittings should not be placed in the staircases. The NBC says that no living space and store should open directly into staircases. It also states that no electrical shaft, AC ducts or gas pipe etc. should pass through or open in the staircases.
The NBC also mentions that stairs should be supplemented by lifts and ramps. But, these norms have been overlooked completely in these markets.
Civil Engineer, Anuj Sinha said, “Such things are serious and must be taken into consideration. Any electrical fittings or wirings should never be placed in the staircases. It can cause fire incidents any time and it a serious threat to human lives.”
People have already raised this matter to the electrical department of DDA and BSES in the past. But, there has not been any headway in the matter. Seeing no response from authorities, people have voluntarily tried to sort out the cluttered wiring and fittings but it deteriorates every time.
Vishal Gupta of Sector 5 MLY said, “The situation in all the markets is pathetic. If are not careful then there is a high chance of wires touching you. You can easily get electrocuted if there is any leakage in the wire.”
“An incident of fire happened due to poor maintenance of electric panel in Plot Number 13 in 2012. At that time, the concerned authority took the subject in consideration and the whole metres and wires were changed. But, again, the situation has deteriorated,” added Gupta.
Ravi Verma, a resident of Sector 11 said, “In 2010, there was a fire in Sector 11 market due to short circuit in the electrical fittings at the staircase. This created such a serious situation that students of a coaching institute were taken to the rooftop to escape from fire.”
“Similarly, another incident happened due to such fittings in the staircase at Sector 6 in 2012. Often, such kind of incidents happens in Dwarka. Neither the civic bodies nor the market people take it seriously. But, this subject is very serious and must be taken into consideration by the civic bodies,” added Verma.
When City Spidey asked about the subject to DDA officials, they too accepted that there is a fault in design and said that nothing can be done in this regard now. Some of them said that the matter can be raised to the higher officials. But, ironically, the higher officials were reluctant to say anything.
Looking at the fault, it can be said that poor monitoring and accountability during the inception of the markets has led to the present situation. Now, the human lives are at risk due to poor planning and infrastructure in the markets of Dwarka.