The balcony of a flat in Tower E of the Chintels Paradiso condominium in Sector 109 was found sagging during an inspection conducted by the Department of Town and Country Planning’s (DTCP) enforcement wing on Monday evening. Several other balconies in the same tower, and Tower F were also found to have suffered structural deterioration, officials said.
Monday’s inspection was conducted after residents complained about the sagging balcony and poor condition of the apartments. The team found cracks in floors inside several apartments. According to DTCP officials, a committee headed by the deputy commissioner, Gurugram, will inspect the project site on Wednesday to assess the situation following which future course of action will be decided. In case the towers are found to be unsafe, residents can be asked to vacate. Twenty-five families live at present in these two towers.
Six floors of the condominium’s Tower D partially collapsed on February 10 this year, killing two people. The city police registered cases against the developer and a structural audit was ordered by the state government to ascertain the reasons behind the collapse. The structural audit is underway, overseen by a team of experts from IIT Delhi, and private agencies. The state government also formed a district-level committee to probe the incident and announced a CBI inquiry.
Amit Madholia, district town planner (enforcement), said, “It was observed that one balcony on the fourth floor of Tower E was deflected (sagged). Balconies on other floors were also found to be dilapidated with considerable deterioration. I have submitted a report to the deputy commissioner, Gurugram, after the visit,” he said. “The structural audit report of is likely to be received in the next 15 days and the district administration has asked experts to expedite it,” he added.
To ensure that the sagging balcony does not get damaged further or cause an accident, Madholia said that the developer was made to adopt mitigating measures to strengthen and support the structure immediately. “This residential unit is unoccupied. We have also sought a list of occupants living in Tower E and F,” he said.
The department asked to vacate these towers earlier in May for safety reasons but flat owners did not agree, demanding that the structural audit be completed first. Presently, a three-member team of experts from IIT Delhi is conducting the structural audit of the project. In its preliminary report, submitted on March 12, the team observed that given the age of the condominium, the structure deteriorated faster than expected. The committee comprises Prof. Shashank Bishnoi, Prof. Vasant Matsagar, and Prof D R Sahoo from the department of civil engineering, IIT Delhi.
Rakesh Hooda, presidents, Residents’ Welfare Association, Chintels Paradiso, said that the balconies are in bad condition and the authorities should conduct an inspection at the earliest and adopt remedial measures . “The structural audit has not been completed in seven months. Who will be responsible if a balcony collapses?” he asked.
A spokesperson for Chintels said,” The safety of our residents is our top priority. If the towers are vacated and the government grants permission, we will begin repair and restoration work can begin. There will be more clarity when the structural audit report arrives. However, it is important that contractor Bhayana Builders be investigated by the authorities, as the quality of construction was their responsibility according to our contract.” Bhayana Developers could not be reached for a comment.