An area of the bedroom ceiling in Flat No 48 of Suryodaya Apartments, Sector 12, Dwarka, collapsed at night, injuring the flat owner, Janardan Pal. The incident took place around 2 am, when the family was sleeping.
Pal sustained injuries on his head and right hand, narrowly escaping more serious wounds. Recalling the experience, he said, “I was sleeping with my wife and 6-year-old daughter, when I heard a loud noise, like something heavy crashing. Thankfully only I was injured; my wife and daughter escaped. We evacuated the room immediately.”
The Pal family has been staying at Suryodaya Apartments since 2005, and this is the first time something like this has happened. “We have been here for more than 10 years now, and this incident has been a huge shocker. I had noticed the plaster peeling a couple of days back but didn't pay much heed to it as I thought it was just the surface paint. We have noticed similar patches in other rooms and have brought it to the Delhi Development Authority's notice, so they can immediately take care of it.”
The society’s RWA visited the flat after the mishap. Its vice-president, SM Pillai, said, “This incident reveals how poor DDA construction really is. The other flats are also in a similar state. The grit wash, the wall plaster, the window roofs and the staircases are all crumbling. The corridor areas are in particularly bad shape.”
Pillai complained that the RWA has been writing to the DDA, but to no avail. “Many letters were written to the DDA about the dilapidated condition of the flats and the corridors. On repeated complaints, the DDA officials did come for an inspection, but that was all that happened.”
Meanwhile, a team from the DDA visited the flat where the incident occurred. Its chief engineer, DP Singh, said, “This flat has a toilet at its terrace, leading to a lot of seepage. This is why the ceiling fell off.”
When City Spidey spoke to Pal, he said, “Yes, there is a toilet on the terrace. But then why are the other flats also facing the same problem? The DDA should look into the matter more seriously. This is life-threatening.”