A portion of a staircase in Ward 26, Gaddikhan collapsed yesterday injuring an 18 year old Sawan Lohar. Following which the residents of the building and locals are in a state of panic, they fear that the building could also collapse.
A 5 storied building, which has not seen repairs for a long time is home to 26 residents, and according to locals this building is 50 years old, and is collapsing. Locals have alleged that the owner Sunil Agarwal has turned a deaf ears to all their requests for repairing the building. Residents added that initially the rent was Rs 250, and has now risen to Rs 1500 yet there has been no repairs so far.
The owner Mr. Sunil Agarwal however said, “when I bought this building it was in a state of disrepair and the rent is abysmally low… I cannot even pay the municipal taxes from the rents I collect… moreover the renters do not pay their rent on time… so I have been contemplating on constructing a new building altogether.”
Meanwhile the Municipal authorities have said that they will check the safety issues in the building and take appropriate actions following the findings.
We have repeatedly said that Darjeeling town is full of old structures that need immediate repairs, and we hope that the Municipality will take prompt action to make it happen at the earliest. Else more lives may be lost.
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