Delhi minister Satyendar Jain expressed surprise that the owner of the hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh where 17 people were killed in a fire earlier this week has not been arrested yet. He also alleged that the owner had a connection with the BJP. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also expressed shock on micro-blogging site Twitter.
This is shocking... https://t.co/mDLh29PIFf— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 16, 2019
Speaking to news agency ANI on Friday, Mr Jain accused the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for turning a blind eye to illegal construction.
"It is important to form norms to be followed. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is allowing the illegal construction of such hotels by taking bribes. Even the owner of Arpit Hotel where the unfortunate fire incident took place hasn't been arrested yet," the minister said.
"It seems that most likely he is a BJP leader hence no action is being taken. This shows that all these hotels are functioning by paying money to politicians. We, however, will make all these hotels comply with fire norms or make them shut down," he added.
The minister, who inspected the place after fire, also said that there was carpeting on staircases, wooden paneling on walls and no ventilation anywhere in the hotel. Most of the bedrooms were intact but only the corridor fire lead to the death of 17 people.
"I have ordered the fire department to inspect all hotels. In two days, 45 hotels were checked and fire NOCs of 30 hotels were canceled. MCD and police have been apprised of this development and hopefully in a day or two these hotels will be shut down," he added.
17 people, including a child, were killed and 11 were injured after a massive fire broke out in Hotel Arpit Palace, a hotel with five floors, in Karol Bagh area on Tuesday.
According to the Delhi fire department, 35 people were rescued from the hotel.