Laxmi Nagar is among the densely populated and highly congested colonies of east Delhi comprising a large segment of the student population. Several fast food restaurants over here make it a risk-prone area in terms of fire outbreaks. Many lanes are less than nine metres in width. As per Building Bye-Laws for Union Territory of Delhi, 1983, under jurisdiction of Delhi Development Authority, “the width of the main street on which the building abuts shall not be less than nine metres.”
“Most of the buildings here are of unspecified dimensions with projections like balconies, openings for ACs, signboards and these can be highly dangerous during natural calamities and are likely to prevent officials from carrying out rescue operations. This place is highly congested,” says a structural engineer.
Many homeowners here have carried out extensive construction work on old structures. Single-brick walls, extended balconies and openings for windows and AC units increase the risk of a sudden collapse. Some people have made cantilever projections and built walls and columns on that and that too on the upper floors, making the structures unstable. The area of the base of a building is also not aligned with other floors above, making the buildings highly unstable. Narrow lanes do not allow entry of ready-mix concrete vehicles. As a result, raw materials are mixed manually leading to poor construction quality.