Delhi factory, where fire claimed 4 lives, was ‘illegal’: Officials

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New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The Delhi factory in which four persons, including two 17-year-olds, were killed when a fire engulfed the four-storey building here on Monday did not have required licence from the local body, officials said on Tuesday.

Officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) privy to the case told IANS that the charred shoe making unit did not possess the requisite ‘factory licence’ from the civic body.

“The unit was situated in a residential area and we give licences only to units in industrial areas,” a senior official of the factory licensing department of the NDMC told IANS. “A report was also submitted yesterday (Monday) to higher officials stating that the unit did not have a licence.”

The shoe factory was located in Raj Park area of Sultanpuri in west Delhi, a densely populated residential area, with narrow lanes and most of adjacent buildings sharing common walls.

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About half a dozen residents told IANS that many factories were run from multi-storey buildings in the locality.

About five buildings in the short lane in which the charred factory was located remained locked from outside on Monday, of which at least one was a jeans making unit, according to neighbours.

NDMC Commissioner Madhup Vyas also told IANS that the NDMC did not issue licences for factories to operate in residential areas. However, when asked whether the charred factory had a licence, he said they were looking into whether the area would fall under the Mangolpuri Industrial Area.

Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Rohini Nagendra Tripathi said they had a provision to give Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the families of adult victims and Rs 1 lakh to families of victims who were minors.

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“We are waiting for the police report to come to give the compensations,” he said.

The autopsy of all the four workers was done on Tuesday at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and it revealed that the workers died due to suffocation, Deputy Commissioner of Police M.N. Tiwari said.

The bodies were later handed over to the families.

–IANS

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