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Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court surprised at choice of official for submitting report on Garden Reach tragedy

Bench said there is need to set up monitoring cells in civic bodies to keep eye on illegal constructions

Tapas Ghosh, Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 22.03.24, 06:29 AM
Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court

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The Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on Thursday expressed surprise that a government official accused of negligence has been asked to submit a report on the collapse of an under-construction building in Garden Reach that killed at least 10 persons.

Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam made the comment when the division bench headed by him was hearing a public interest litigation, filed by BJP leader Rakesh Singh, on the collapse of the structure on Sunday night.


The bench said there is a need to set up monitoring cells in the civic bodies to keep an eye on illegal constructions.

“Every panchayat and corporation should have a monitoring cell,” the Chief Justice said, while referring to the collapse of the five-storey building in Garden Reach.

”It does not appear that a five-storey building could come up without the knowledge of the administration. What is surprising is that the officer against whom allegations of negligence have surfaced, the same officer has been entrusted with submission of a report to the government. How is that even possible?” he asked.

He stressed the need to have in place infrastructure that would support the law. “The existence of law alone cannot help. There should be proper infrastructure to bolster the law,” he said.

Chief Justice Sivagnanam said if someone takes all necessary permissions and starts dumping construction materials at the construction site, “spies” will immediately become active so that the councillor comes to know about it.

“But if no permission is taken and work starts without the necessary permits, no one will come. The worst part is those who make such inferior quality buildings, sell these buildings and conveniently leave the place.”

He further said that according to the allegation, the building (that collapsed) was built on marshy land. “In case of erecting a building on marshy land, the foundation of such a building has to be deep,” he said.


The division bench headed by the Chief Justice also asked the state government to file an affidavit by April 4 stating what steps it has taken to arrange for the rehabilitation of the people who were affected by the collapse of the building in Garden Reach.

The order followed the petition filed by Singh.

Last updated on 22.03.24, 06:30 AM

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