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Building Collapse: DM forms investigative committee

Tragedy Strikes on Independence Day – Overhang Collapse Claims Five Lives in Vrindavan

The structural collapse that occurred on the evening of the Independence Day, near the Banke Bihari Temple has prompted the District Magistrate of Mathura to the form a three member investigative committee to delve into the causes and circumstances behind the mishap. The Additional District Magistrate (E) will head the committee and the Executive Engineer of Public Works Department and the Circle Officer of Police will be its member.

Five people were killed and four were injured after a portion of an old building collapsed near the Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. A dilapidated balcony collapsed near the Radha Saneh Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan’s Dosayat Mohalla, leading to the tragic demise of five devotees who were caught under the debris. Four individuals also sustained injuries, two of whom are reported to be critical condition. The incident site is merely 150 meters away from the renowned Banke Bihari Temple.s

While preliminary assessments indicate that the walls of the building were already weakened, District Magistrate (DM) Pulkit Khare emphasized that an exhaustive inquiry into the actual triggers of the incident will be undertaken. Furthermore, in response to the prevailing condition of dilapidated structures in Vrindavan, the DM has constituted a Technical Committee. This committee is tasked with conducting a comprehensive survey of precarious houses and buildings in the area.

Comprising prominent members including the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Kranti Shekhar Singh, Deputy Collector Ritu Sirohi, Deputy Collector Rajkumar Bhaskar, Special Executive Officer MVDA Prasoon Dwivedi, Chief Engineer of Mathura-Vrindavan Municipal Corporation A.K. Singh, and Chief Engineer of Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority Manoj Mishra. The Technical Committee aims to ascertain the extent of endangerment these structures pose to the inhabitants and visitors of the region.

The incident, which occurred during the evening hours of 15th August saw the balcony of a derelict dwelling crumble, leading to the tragic deaths of three individuals from Kanpur, one from Deoria, and one originally was hailing from Punjab. The collapse’s proximity to the Bank Bihari Temple underscores the need for meticulous scrutiny of architectural stability in the vicinity of historically significant locations.

As the investigation unfolds, the authorities remain committed to unearthing the precise sequence of events that led to this heart-wrenching incident. The committees’ comprehensive findings and recommendations are anticipated to be presented within a span of seven days, marking a step towards ensuring the safety and preservation of Vrindavan’s architectural heritage.

Congested road hindered prompt arrival of Ambulance

A grim incident unfolded on Tuesday evening when a balcony of a dilapidated structure adjacent to the Radha Sneh Bihari Temple in Vrindavan’s Dusayat Mohalla collapsed onto the street, resulting in the tragic death of five devotees who were trapped underneath the debris. Additionally, four other devotees were injured, with two of them currently in critical condition. The collapse occurred a mere 150 meters away from the revered Banke Bihari Temple.

As per eyewitness accounts, around 5:45 PM on Tuesday, shortly after the onset of heavy rainfall, a section of the deteriorated building wall of Vishnu Bagh Wala  gave way, burying several devotees who were passing by under the rubble. The horrifying incident led to cries for help from the trapped devotees along the road. Local residents promptly assisted the police in rescuing the trapped individuals. Although an ambulance was called, the congested road hindered its prompt arrival. As a result, the injured were transported to the hospital by e-rickshaws.

Government Officials Rush to the Scene

 District Magistrate Pulkit Khare, Senior Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey, Municipal Commissioner Anunaya Jha, Additional Municipal Commissioner Krantishekhar Singh, and Dr. Ajay Kumar Verma, Chief Medical Officer rushed to the site. They oversaw the ongoing relief and rescue operations and provided necessary directives for ensuring prompt and efficient assistance to the victims. Additionally, they inquired about the health status of the injured individuals who were admitted to the district combined hospital.

Preliminary findings suggest that a portion of the building collapsed due to water seepage caused by the initial spell of rain. District Magistrate Pulkit Khare reassured that a comprehensive investigation into the incident will be conducted, focusing on not only determining the cause of the collapse but also ensuring appropriate compensation for the victims. The government’s support will be sought for this purpose.

Victims’ Identities and Injuries

The unfortunate incident claimed the lives of Chanda Rai (30) from Karnjh, Bhagwanpur, Anju Muragai (age not provided) hailing from Punjab, Roshmi Gupta (40) from Jarauli Phase Two, Kanpur, Arvind Kumar (35) from Juhi, Kanpur, and Geeta Kashyap (50) from Bamburahiya Colony, Kanpur. Injured survivors include Khushipal (14) from Firozabad, Anamika Kashyap (31) from Kanpur, and Aakanksha Muragai (34) from Punjab. Their injuries necessitated immediate medical attention, with some eventually being referred to Agra for specialized care.

As the investigation advances, authorities strive to unravel the sequence of events that led to this heart-wrenching tragedy. The incident underscores the pressing need for meticulous inspection and maintenance of aging structures in areas of historical significance, ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike.

Grief and Devastation Grip Vrindavan After Tragic Wall Collapse Incident

The recent wall collapse tragedy near Radha Sneh Bihari Temple has left families and friends of the deceased and injured in a state of profound sorrow. Many expressed disbelief that such a devastating incident could occur in the revered city of Thakur Banke Bihari, where devotees converge during the holy month of Purushottam to seek blessings and solace. The incident has cast a shadow of sadness over their lives, a stark contrast to the happiness they had anticipated from their pilgrimage.

Tears welled up in the eyes of the relatives and friends of the victims as they recounted the painful separation from their loved ones. The anguish was palpable on their faces, reflecting the pain and loss they were grappling with. Their sorrowful sentiments echoed the sentiment that what transpired in the abode of Banke Bihari would forever remain etched in their memories. Their only wish now is for the departed souls to find solace and rest in the divine embrace of Bihariji.

Safety Concerns Amid Rising Devotee Numbers

Braj witnesses a daily influx of countless devotees, both from across the nation and abroad, who come to the Banke Bihari Temple seeking blessings. The escalating number of devotees and tourists has raised concerns about whether adequate measures have been taken by the administration to manage the growing crowds. Worries have surfaced that if the infrastructure isn’t improved in line with the increasing footfall, another catastrophic incident might be looming. Over the past three days, Vrindavan has been choked with heavy crowds, resulting in congested streets and chaotic conditions.

The incident comes as a grim reminder of the tragic occurrence last year on August 19, during the celebration of Krishna Janmashtami. During the Mangala Aarti ritual, two devotees lost their lives due to overcrowding within the temple premises. This time, the collapse of the dilapidated building’s wall near August’s end claimed the lives of five individuals, raising concerns about the city’s safety infrastructure and management of the pilgrim influx.

Suffering Claims Families

Jitendra Gupta from Kanpur, who lost his wife Rashmi in the incident, shared his heart-wrenching experience. He expressed how he had never imagined that a visit to Banke Bihari’s city would end in such tragedy, separating him from his life partner, with whom he had envisioned spending a lifetime. Such incidents have disrupted families and lives forever, leaving behind an indelible scar.

The Journey from Joy to Grief

Manish Tripathi from Sonbhadra recalled the stark contrast of emotions he felt that day. Starting his day with a visit to various temples, he was brimming with joy and spirituality. However, by evening, his life was engulfed in sorrow and distress, after losing two dear friends in the incident. Vedpal from Meerut lamented that the joyful experience of visiting the temples of Vrindavan and Mathura was swiftly overshadowed by tragedy and grief.

Unity Transcends Religion in Grief

Rais Ahmad from Etah came with Hindu friends to experience the spiritual essence of Braj. He emphasized that despite being of the Muslim faith, he shared a strong bond with his Hindu friends. His visit was filled with happiness until he was forced to bid farewell to his friends Chanda Rai and Arvind Yadav. The pain of loss is one that he believes will never fade away.

As the city of Vrindavan grapples with this heart-wrenching tragedy, questions about safety, infrastructure, and the administration’s readiness to manage the swelling pilgrim numbers arise. The incident serves as a sombre reminder of the need for robust measures to safeguard the lives and wellbeing of devotees who flock to this revered city in pursuit of spiritual solace.

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