Builder Ashok Solomon was a “Drug Don” in 1986
Gurugram, Feb. 11 (Delhi Crown): Residents of Chintels Paradiso housing society in Gurugram Sector-109, along the Dwarka Expressway, are passing through physical, mental & financial trauma, after two women died in a roof collapse, and a couple of others still trapped under the debris, on Thursday evening.
They aren’t able to sleep, eat or live in peace amid fears of another similar mishap, thinking about the fate of their place of residence as the affected Tower-D is almost sealed, and mulling how to pay their huge bank loans which they borrowed to buy flats here. On an average, one flat costs around Rs 2.5 crore.
After the incident, never heard or seen before, the residents are spending sleepless nights either in the Clubhouse or in the basement of the damaged Tower. Those living in the adjacent towers are extending a helping hand in arranging food and other necessities.
Resentment among the residents is at its peak as the rescue work is still on even after 24 hours of the mishap. The Gurugram Police and the officials at local Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) have already begun to wash their hands off.
On Friday Gurugram Police Commissioner K.K. Rao was quoted as saying by a popular TV channel – “I don’t know about last year’s matter. We are enquiring into the mishap.”
Actually, residents of Chintels Paradiso have been complaining about poor construction quality for the past one year, but in vain as the local police declined to register their complaints formally.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said – “An FIR has been registered in the case. Two DSPs will investigate the matter. Will not spare the culprit.”
A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been involved in carrying out the rescue work. NDRF’s P.K. Tiwary said, “Till now, one body has been retrieved and two persons rescued. Another body will be retrieved from debris soon. Around 110 NDRF personnel carrying out the operation.”
Local MLA Rakesh Daultabad said – “Action to be taken against the builder over (construction) material quality. Issue in material quality to be probed.”
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is known to be personally following developments related to Chintels Paradiso incident/accident.
On Friday, the residents of the damaged housing society protested against the Gurugram Police and the DTCP for not hearing out their complaints in the past about the poor quality of construction. They also demanded that the media persons should be allowed to gain access into their housing society so that nothing is hidden from the public glare.
Builder Ashok Solomon’s dubious track record
The whereabouts of builder Ashok Solomon, the owner of Chintels Paradiso, are not known yet. Astonishingly, a case was registered by Delhi Police against Ashok Solomon in the year 1986 for his alleged involvement in a drugs supply case.
He was jailed for a couple of years before getting bail from a Patiala House court, former Delhi DCP L.N. Rao was seen as telling a TV channel in an interview.
Based on a tip off received by an Inspector, around 400 kilograms high-quality Hashish was recovered from his possession, added Rao.
According to Rao, after his arrest Ashok Solomon had admitted that the drugs recovered from him was meant for export overseas. “In those days Solomon’s name had emerged as an infamous drug lord,” added former top cop.
Slowly Solomon managed to foray into the realty business. Today, he has projects running in various Tier 1 and 2 cities.
Considering his “dubious” track record, Ashok Solomon’s phenomenal rise in the realty business gives rise to doubts over the construction material he might have allowed to be used in his projects. This would be ascertained soon in various enquiries initiated by the district police and administration.