Assistant divisional fire officer Bhupinder Singh confirmed this: "No shop or restaurant at Sarabha Nagar Market, also known as Kipps Market, had applied for the NOC."
This had been the case, though a major fire had broken out at a prominent restaurant in the market this January. In the absence of fire-safety clearances, a tragedy was bound to happen in the market, which is visited by several people everyday.
Action was taken after Arvind Sharma, secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, had filed an RTI application to the fire wing on January 7 this year. In the application, he had asked for information about the number of shops and restaurants that had an NOC from the fire wing. In the reply, it came to light that not even a single restaurant had the mandatory fire-safety certificate.
Following this, Arvind had in a letter to the chairman of Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) called for action against the violators. In the RTI application, Sharma had also sought the copies of the NOC certificates issued to shops and restaurants, and the list of defaulters. Sharma said the entire market had defaulted as no establishment in the area had an NOC.