NEW DELHI: Moti Nagar’s Sudarshan Park area is a hub of illegal fan-making factories. Almost every second house has a factory operating from it and all have managed to evade the eye of authorities who are now busy passing the buck.
Balmiki Mohalla, where the incident happened, has at least 10 big factories. They are all on the ground floor while families live in the upper storeys. These factories have boilers and big compressors in them, without any safety measures taken by their owners. None of them have any fire escape either. Some small factories have workers living on premises.
According to police, the area belongs to the local municipal corporation. But officials of the corporation said the land is owned by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. When DUSIB was contacted, senior officials there refused to accept that it belonged to them. According to them, it is the local corporation’s job to crack down on the illegal factories and colonies.
Residents of the area said the factories have been here for more than 10 years. Mahendra Mitra, a property dealer, said, “We have made several complaints. This is not the first accident inside the factory. These factories have young and uneducated people working in them. They don’t know how to use a compressor or, for that matter, any machine, which leads to accidents.” Two years ago, a similar incident happened near Tyagi Market leaving two men very severely injured.
The workers never raised concerns over the unsafe environment as it is their only source of income. The hand of a worker got stuck in a machine recently but he continued to work there.
“A majority are from outside Delhi. If they say anything or ask for a salary hike, they are fired on the spot,” a local said.