3 dead as buildings collapse

Three persons, including a minor girl, died in three separate building collapse incidents in the heart of Lucknow on Friday, allegedly due to incessant rain, exposing the dangerous living conditions in parts of the Uttar Pradesh capital.

In the past 24 hours, the number of casualties in Uttar Pradesh due to rain-related incidents is 14, while since July 1 around 170 persons have died across the State, T.P. Gupta, project manager of U.P. Relief Department, told
The Hindu

Around 1,600 houses and hutments have also been damaged over the past month.

Administration in tizzy

In Lucknow, the district administration went into a tizzy after three building collapse incidents happened within a few hours on Friday morning.

In the Ganeshganj locality, a couple of km from the State Assembly, a 10-year-old girl identified as Aashi died while her mother Sarita Mishra was grievously injured when a portion of their two-storey house collapsed. The other three members of the family were not present in the house during the incident, locals said.

The minor was declared dead after being rushed to the trauma centre here while her mother is under treatment.

According to the police, the building was old and in poor condition and its residents had been served notice to vacate in the past.

Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia, who rushed to the spot, said the house could not be repaired due to a legal dispute over tenancy. “Those issued notices previously did not take it seriously. So we have re-issued the notices,” she said.

In another incident, the police confirmed that two persons died and four were injured after a building collapsed in the Husainganj area. The victims were identified as Imtiyaz and Kinnu, both in their 20s.

Third incident

Another building reportedly collapsed near the famous Aminabad area, but no casualties were reported.

Following the incidents, the Lucknow administration swung into action and has issued notices to vacate all dilapidated structures in the city within a day. District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said a total of 113 such houses had been already identified and notices served. “We have ordered them to vacate the buildings and voluntarily shift wherever they want. If they don’t shift till tomorrow then we will have to vacate them forcibly and lock up the houses,” Mr. Sharma said. He, however, clarified that the orders were not to demolish the structures yet as most of them were embroiled in legal disputes over tenancy.

U.P. Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey has instructed officials across the State to identify dilapidated structures and shift residents to safer spots.

Ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakh

The State government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakh to the kin of the dead.

Speaking to reporters, Cabinet Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said the government would come up with a policy to prevent such incidents in future.

We have ordered them to vacate the buildings and shift. If they don’t, we will have to vacate them forcibly and lock up the houses

Kaushal Raj Sharma

District Magistrate

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