Yet again in an infrastructural flaw in the colleges of the varsity, a section of the ceiling came crashing down in a classroom of the College of Vocational Studies on Friday, 11th August 2017.
The false ceiling in the newly-constructed building of the college proved to be immensely unsafe in room no. 107. Around 9:15 a.m. in a Hindi class of the Human Resource Management programme, the roof collapsed with about 30 students occupying the classroom. According to sources, one student faced a minor injury while the others relatively remained unharmed.
“One student needed first aid care… this is scary. It is a new building, that was handed over in 2015. Even the fan was left dangling,” a faculty member of CVS quoted to the Hindustan Times.
However, the chairperson of the governing body of CVS RNP Singh asserted that the incident was on a minor scale and did not consequent substantial damage. He remarks, “It was the light thermocol pieces that are used for false ceiling that came undone. It was not heavy enough to hurt anybody.”
Another teacher commented about the intensity of the accident to The Indian Express, remarking, “Fortunately it was a false ceiling, which is probably why not many children received injuries. But even then, some large chunks fell down. Thankfully the fan did not fall, otherwise it would have been a bigger accident.”
Until the safety regulations can be confirmed with the building construction, RK Chopra, a retired Associate Professor of the Commerce department of CVS, has appealed to the governing body to seal the hazardous building. He insists that a FIR should be filed against the contractor for this construction failure.
Further commenting on the financial shortfalls of this construction, Chopra delineates, “Just five or six months ago, Room number 104 had been completely caved in… According to data we got in response to an RTI we had filed, the college had spent close to Rs. 5.5 crore. That means close to 20 lakh rupees have been spent on ‘porta cabin’ rooms. Rooms made with cement and concrete may have been cheaper.” According to officials, ten classes are being run from the new academic block.
Countering this, RNP Singh believes that the cost estimates can be left for a correct adjudication by the contractor or architect only. “Only they can tell exactly how much such rooms cost,” he said.
The construction shortfall has sufficient precedent within the University of Delhi. Last year, a portion of the ceiling collapsed in Daulat Ram College, leaving several students injured. A similar instance occurred in a room of the Hans Raj Hostel. The startling incident had brought to the fore the deplorable condition of some classrooms of the College as well as the dampening structures of other colleges in the varsity. It remains to be seen whether the governing body aligns itself with accountability or falls in a rut of blaming and dismissing.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express