People Die in Delhi Housing Fire. Risk of Fire at DPS Housing Society
DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society (DPS CGHS or DPS Housing Society), Plot No. 16, Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078.
While the accused MC members of DPS CGHS are openly defying the law in a number of criminal cases, now they have put the lives of hundreds of residents to fire risk by allowing illegal car parking which is obstructing the movement of fire brigade.
By Rakesh Raman
Four members of a family died in a major fire that broke out Friday in a multi-storey building in Kohat Enclave in the Pitampura area of Delhi.
Reports suggest that a couple and their 2 young children got trapped in the building while the cause of the fire was the carelessness of Delhi Fire Service. A few more residents – who got injured in the fire – were admitted in the hospital.
It is reported that the fire broke out in the car parking area of the building and it spread so fast that the victims could not escape. Many vehicles parked in the building were also destroyed in the fire.
A Delhi BJP leader and MLA from Rohini Vijender Gupta said that the cause of the fire was extreme carelessness of the fire brigade of Delhi Fire Service.
484,कोहाट एन्कलेव पहुँचने पर इस बिल्डिंग मे जो आग मे फँसे परिवारों से बात हुई तो पता चला कि फ़ायर ब्रिगेड की ज़बरदस्त लापरवाही के कारण राकेश नागपाल, उनकी पत्नी, आठ वर्ष का बेटा और चार वर्ष की बेटी की आग मे फँसने से जान चली गई। pic.twitter.com/VRB2l3H1X3
— Vijender Gupta (@Gupta_vijender) April 13, 2018
Gupta also informed that the fire staff came only when police intervened and the fire brigade was not even properly equipped to extinguish fire.
The BJP leader blamed chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for the loss of lives and property, as Delhi Government is not able to check the repeated negligence of Delhi Fire Service. Gupta also demanded Kejriwal’s resignation after the fire incident.
Fire Risk at DPS Housing Society
A similar dangerous situation has been persisting at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society (DPS CGHS), Sector 4, in Dwarka, Delhi.
Notwithstanding a number of complaints from the residents, the Delhi Fire Service and other Delhi Government departments have not taken any steps to stop the illegal car parking at DPS Housing Society which is posing serious risk to the people in the event of fire.
The residents complain that their repeated requests to the managing committee (MC) of the DPS Housing Society to resolve the parking issue have fallen on deaf ears.
The residents also inform that the MC members of DPS CGHS are facing multiple government inquiries for financial and other irregularities and illegal car parking is one of the many criminal cases in which the MC members are allegedly involved.
Recently, a senior citizen and other residents of the Society met the Chief Fire Officer Mr. Vipin Kental of Delhi Fire Service and submitted a formal representation to get a physical inspection of the building done and illegal car parking removed to prevent the possibility of a serious mishap.
But Delhi Fire Service ignored the request and illegal car parking persists, which has put to risk lives of about 400 people – including children and senior citizens – living in the Society building.
The Chief Fire Officer and his colleagues told the suffering residents of DPS Housing Society that this illegal car parking problem is happening in many society buildings of Dwarka, and Delhi Fire Service does not have the resources to stop this unlawful activity.
Residents argue that as per Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, the hard surface building approach to all around must be 6.0 metre width and 9.0 metre turning circle at corner – which is not being followed at DPS Housing Society because that surface is now occupied by illegal car parking.
Obviously, if cars are parked on the pathways meant for the movement of vehicles, it will not be possible for the fire brigade to bring the fire apparatus inside the building to extinguish fire.
Consequently, the risk of fatalities has increased manifold. People complain that the congested car parking in the Society has left no space for the entry of firefighting vehicles in the event of fire in the building.
But the DPS Housing Society MC has brazenly decided to ignore the court orders on parking as well as the Society norms to allow about 40 flat owners (out of a total of 90 flats) to park multiple vehicles in the Society building.
As DPS Housing Society MC members are also facing multiple corruption inquiries ordered by the government, the possibility of corruption in the illegal car parking cannot be ruled out.
On average, a car parking space covers about 100 sq. ft. and the price of one car parking space is an estimated Rs. 500,000. If the current MC has allowed 40 members to park their additional vehicles under a secret deal, the corruption money in this case is estimated to be Rs. 2 crore.
The DPS Housing Society MC members as well as the residents who park their cars illegally in the building are supposed to be part of this corruption racket. And Delhi Government has failed to stop this increasing corruption at DPS Housing Society.
There is also a possibility that in order to continue with the illegal car parking, the MC members of DPS Housing Society have bribed the officials who are supposed to stop this criminal activity.
As the fire can cause major loss to the life and property of the people living in the building, it will clearly be a case of criminal negligence or causing death by negligence (Section 304A Indian Penal Code) for which the DPS Housing Society MC members and the additional car owners who park their cars illegally will be responsible. The government officials who are not able to stop illegal car parking will also be equally responsible for this criminal act.
The law states that “whoever causes death by doing any rash or negligent act shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to two years, or fine, or with both.”
Current MC Members of DPS Housing Society who are responsible for illegal car parking:
- President: Neeraj Kumar Vaish
- Vice President: R. Balasubramanian
- Secretary: M.N. Sampathkumar
- Member: Ms. Leela Swami
- Member: Sandeep Taneja
- Member: Manguram Tyagi
- Member: Ms. Naseem Afshaque
Defiance of Court Order
As the successive managing committees (MCs) of the DPS Housing Society are part of the parking scandal, they have been blatantly defying even the court orders and allow other law-breaking residents to park their multiple cars inside the building.
The Delhi High Court has ruled that only one car per flat will be allowed in housing society parking lots. But the DPS Housing Society MCs have brazenly decided to ignore the court orders and now cars stand cheek by jowl in such a way that the movement in the building is completely obstructed.
Similarly, it will not be possible for the ambulance to enter the building because the additional cars parked on the lanes will obstruct its entry. In the case of any health emergency, people living in the Society may face serious consequences – and even death – because of the negligence of the DPS Housing Society MC members and the additional car owners.
Clean House Service
As millions of common residents in Delhi are victims of the terror unleashed by the MC members of different cooperative group housing societies, I have started an exclusive editorial section under the banner “Clean House” to help the suffering residents raise their voice against the growing injustice.
If you want Clean House to report about corruption and other illegal activities happening in your housing society, you may please contact me with relevant documents and details.
Residents of DPS Housing Society have also complained about this parking problem repeatedly to the office of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government, which is supposed to control the rogue MCs. But RCS office did not take any action in this particular case.
Although the RCS office has ordered a comprehensive inquiry to investigate the “financial and other irregularities” that have been happening in the DPS Housing Society for years, the accused MC members are desperately trying to evade the inquiry by hook or by crook.
Moreover, when a few months ago Delhi Police – under the directions from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) – came to check illegal car parking in the DPS Housing Society building, the MC members hoodwinked the police by saying that only RCS rules apply on them.
Strangely, Delhi Police accepted this weird argument and did not bother to get the illegal car parking stopped. Although the Assistant Director (Vigilance) of the Delhi Police informed the RCS office, the RCS office did not take any action against the MC members of DPS Housing Society.
But now – after the fatal fire accident at Kohat Enclave – the residents of DPS Housing Society expect the RCS office, Delhi Police, and Delhi Fire Service to act and get the illegal car parking removed permanently from the Society building. The sooner the better.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
I am a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, I had been writing an edit-page column for The Financial Express, a business newspaper of the Indian Express group.
Nowadays, for the past about 7 years, I have been running my own global news services on different subjects. I also have formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. And I run a free Education and Career Counselling Center for deserving children at a poor J.J. Colony in Dwarka under my NGO – RMN Foundation.
I am also running an exclusive community-driven online editorial section under the banner “Clean House” to help the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice particularly in group housing societies where millions of people live.
I have created a comprehensive online information service to educate the Indian voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha election scheduled to happen in 2019.
Earlier, I had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
Disclosure: I have written this report not only as a journalist, but also as a victim of the fraud and intimidation happening at DPS Housing Society. I am facing repeated threats from the MC members and their supporters because I have been raising my voice against corruption, lawlessness, environmental damage, and human rights violations.
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