State to tighten building safety laws


In his reply to a discussion in the Legislative Council on the recent incident of fire at Carlton Towers in Bangalore that claimed nine lives, the Minister said the existing rules does not allow regular inspection of high-rise buildings. So, it has been difficult for the government to ensure safety, he added.

The amendments will be brought in a month’s time, he stated.
He further said unless building bye-law violations are considered as a serious offence, incidents like the Carlton Towers fire could not be prevented. The builders adhere to the National Building Code to obtain occupancy certificates. But later modify the structure, throwing all rules to the winds.

He also said the government has decided not to allow onlookers to get close to the accident site to ensure smooth and quick rescue operation. VIP visits to ICUs will also be not allowed.

Earlier, JD(S) leader M C Nanaiah pointed out to serious lapses in the Carlton Towers building that turned it into a veritable death trap. 

He pointed out that the terrace of the building housed four mobile towers, eight diesel generators and the fire exits locked with signs stating that anyone using them required the permission of the security or the building supervisor. All the floors, he said, had so many compartments that the corridor area had been absorbed to turn them into office cubicle, seating area and to store back up power.

He also brought in the example of Diamond District situated opposite the Carlton Towers, which was granted permission by the HAL Sanitary Board. Despite being refused occupancy certificate by the City corporation, because of the flouting of building byelaws, they managed to obtain it. “It is a disaster waiting to happen,” he claimed.
DH News Service

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