( A building collapsing near Shimla)

A multi-story building collapsed at about 1 pm on Shimla- Dharamshala – Highway no 88 near Shimla on Saturday.

The building located near government college Dhami had developed cracks a few days ago after which it was vacated by its occupants.

A source in Shimla police said, “The building was owned by Raj Kumar and many students from Law University were staying here but had vacated the building some time back as cracks were observed and it collapsed today afternoon.”

“Though engineers of the PWD are trying to find out the reasons for the collapse of the building, it has been reported that deep digging on the adjacent plot through a JCB machine may have triggered the collapse”, he added.

The collapse of a multi-storied building like a house of cards has raised serious questions on structural designs and building construction in Himachal as this is not a stray incident.

It is notable that several multi-storied buildings had collapsed at Ani in Kullu district during the last devastating monsoon rains and also a building had crumbled down in Kachi Ghati area of capital town Shimla a few years back.

After the large-scale damage to residential buildings resulting in loss of human lives the state government had announced to implement strict construction norms and need for having structural design before construction.

But practical implementation of these norms is a big challenge for the government agencies as builders constructing houses for commercial purposes generally do not adhere to the norms.

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