Chandigarh: Chief fire officer puts MC building on notice for fire safety gaps

Hina Rohtaki
The newly constructed floors of the building have fire safety but the main floors offer no protection against fire.

ADDITIONAL COMMISSIONER Anil Kumar Garg has put the Municipal Corporation s own building on notice for defaulting on fire safety. The Additional Commissioner, who is also the chief fire officer, said that the first four floors of the MC building seriously lack fire safety arrangements. The fire department is a wing of the Municipal Corporation.

Chief Engineer Manoj Bansal has been put on notice to comply with the orders as soon as possible. The Municipal Corporation building sees hundreds of visitors daily owing to the civic works it handles. The Chief Engineer had been conveyed earlier as well about the MC building not being protected against fire but he ignored the orders.

The newly constructed floors of the building have fire safety but the main floors where MC Commissioner K K Yadav, Additional Commissioner and other senior officers sit offer no protection against fire. According to the details, most important items which are required in case of a fire were all missing. There were no proper sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, hydrants, alarm systems, illuminated entry and exit systems, proper water supply arrangement, and hose pipes. The inspection was conducted to check fire norms as per standards of the National Building code.

While talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Chief Engineer Manoj Bansal said, We will soon comply with the directions.
The Chandigarh fire department had begun with the fire audit of all the buildings, including the government and private both. Serious shortcomings have been found in almost all the buildings, including the civic body s own building.

They are checking liquor vends, private hospitals and clinics as well. The audit began after the coaching centre incident in Surat. Several coaching centres in Chandigarh too were checked and have been put on notice. Sources said that the fire department even in the past has just sent notices to building owners even as it found glaring shortcomings in fire safety. No serious action has been taken against the violators.

Every year, the fire audit is conducted and the compliance notices serve more as advisories and don t act tough enough for the building owners to comply with the norms. Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the Federation of Sectors Welfare Association, said, How can they expect others to comply with the norms when their own building is not firesafe? You ought to practise what you teach. In case of a fire, who will take responsibility? I feel the fire department should act really tough so that it creates fear in people to comply with the norms and innocent lives are not put to risk.