Four mishaps in three months, govt is still to wake up

Dept should have powers to conduct regular inspections

Four mishaps in three months,  govt is still to wake up

In the aftermath of the last disastrous fire at Carlton Towers, the Fire and Emergency Services had sought inspection powers to prevent corner-cutting on mandatory safety measures in high rise buildings. Since the Carlton holocaust, the City has witnessed three major fires in multi-storeyed complexes in the past three months.

The Fire and Emergency Services Department in its defence claims that without any power to inspect these high rises periodically, they are unable to ascertain the fire safety measures employed by building owners.

In an appeal to the Government on Monday after the latest fire in Gold Towers, Fire and Emergency Services Department, Director General Jija Madhavan Hari Singh had said that the government needs to seriously consider their recommendations in the report submitted in the aftermath of Carlton Towers fire.

“The fire here in Gold Towers has shown that the Fire Department needs to be empowered to carry out a periodical inspection of high rise buildings in the City,” she said, a demand voiced by the department in the aftermath of Carlton. The agency had in its report demand a legislation enabling it to the department top brass has asked for a regulatory institution for approving licences to high rise buildings.

“The panel we envisage will include the Fire department, the Municipality and other authorities concerned to curb such accidents,” said Jija Hari Singh. The department in its recommendations on Carlton Towers fire mishap has stated that there is an urgent need to introduce a legislation to “re-inspect all high rise buildings every year or once in two years to ensure the compliance of all fire prevention and fire-fighting measures.”

In the report finalised on March 27, 2010, the department has also asked the government to introduce penal provisions that can be invoked for violations of building by-laws, fire-safety provisions as per the various laws, after an incident especially in commercial and high rise buildings.  

The department has also given various suggestions including proper inspection of electrical works in high rise buildings and also ensuring that regular conduct of evacuation drills are conducted in the buildings.

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