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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Fire dept can seal buildings flouting fire safety norms, soon

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, March 08, 2013
First Published: 22:13 IST(8/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:15 IST(8/3/2013)

With the rise in fire incidents across the city, the fire wing of the municipal corporation would soon be authorised to seal the buildings flouting fire safety norms.

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Startling revelations regarding various important buildings not having a fire safety certificate in the city came to the light, recently after which the fire wing came under scanner.

According to reliable sources in the MC office, it has been learnt that the fire wing of the MC is not authorised to take immediate action against those flouting fire norms. It can only refer the case to the chief fire officer at Chandigarh after which the process for action could be initiated against any establishment flouting norms.

Fire officer at the local fire wing would be authorised to take action. There are several buildings in the city that do not adhere to the fire safety norms that include top government offices such as: the deputy commissioner's office, civil hospital and several other buildings that see a maximum number of people going in and out on a on daily basis.

Interestingly, all the offices of the four zones of the MC do not have any fire safety certificate. Even the zone A office, that is the MC headquarters do not fulfil the required norms of fire safety.

Bhupinder Singh, assistant divisional fire officer at Ludhiana, says, 'At present only a notice can be served to the building owner not fulfilling the required standards of fire safety. We can serve a notice or send the matter to the higher authorities.”

Singh also said that soon there would be a provision in which the fire wing of the MC could be authorised to seal the establishment flouting fire safety norms.

Singh added that a notification has already been served and within two weeks the notification would be circulated after which they would seal an establishment flouting fire safety norms.
However, the manpower would have to be increased to check the buildings and take strict actions against the defaulters.

The fire safety certificate is valid for one year after which only a few building owners renew it.

The fire wing as it is lacks necessary equipments including fire tenders, most of which are ancient and do not have modern day facilities. “The age of a fire tender is 10 years most of which have already completed it. MC's fire wing only has 15 fire tenders.

Sources say that at least 10 more fire tenders are required according to the area and the size of the city that has expanded manifold.

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