The Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested the contractor of the Muradnagar cremation ground gallery whose roof collapsed on Sunday, January 3, killing 25 people.
The police arrested Ajay Tyagi on Monday night, hours after the department had announced a ₹25,000 reward in exchange for any information about him.
Apart from Tyagi, the police in the morning arrested three civic officials, including Muradnagar Nagar Palika Executive Officer Niharika Singh, engineer Chandra Pal, and a supervisor Ashish. All of them were arrested on the complaint of a deceased's son at the Muradnagar police station.
CM Announces Ex-Gratia
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of ₹10 lakh each for the families of the deceased. The CM has directed the officials to invoke the National Security Act against the culprits. He has directed the Meerut Divisional Commissioner and the Additional Director General of Police, to submit a report on the incident.
After the tragic incident, Ghaziabad's Yamuna Expressway Industrial Authority has decided that all new constructions under its jurisdiction would be subjected to three subsequent inspections.
Of the three, two inspections would be carried out midway, while the final inspection would be done before approving. If any shortcomings are found, the contractor would be blacklisted, and authorities will seize payments. They can go ahead with legal inquiries whenever required.
On Sunday, around 50 people gathered at Muradnagar cremation ground, to conduct the last rites of a fruit-seller. Due to heavy rainfall, the people took shelter under the roof of a recently-built corridor to save themselves from getting drenched.
Minutes later, the roof of the structure collapsed killing 25 people and injuring 20 others. Of the dozens of people in the rubble, 38 were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Poor Quality Work Led To Tragedy
According to the Quint, Ajay Tyagi had used poor quality material to construct the crematorium gallery due to the roof collapsed.
According to the Muradnagar Municipal Corporation, the work order for the crematorium was issued to Tyagi on February 4, 2019. While the deadline to finish the construction started in the order was 60 days from the date of commission, Tyagi completed the work way before the due date.
"The waiting area was built only a couple of months back. It is a big question on the quality of the material used in the construction as a single downpour washed away the whole structure. Those guilty of laxity would not be spared," he said.
The locals present on the spot also raised concerns over the material used in the construction. They alleged that Tyagi had used poor quality material to construct the crematorium gallery, and this led to the unfortunate incident.