High rises in the city will soon have to put proper safety measures in place or face strict action.
According to officials, structural and fire safety measures of buildings in prime areas, which come under the jurisdiction of New Delhi district — including Barakhamba Road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Delhi Cantonment and Chanakyapuri — will be under the scanner. A census of all high-rises in these areas is being taken up and a database is being put in place that will come handy in case of an emergency.
An order has been issued by the deputy commissioner of New Delhi district asking all the agencies, including the civic bodies, fire department and the district police to identify high-rises in their areas, sub-division wise, and to conduct two separate audits to check structural and fire safety norms.
The onus of conducting the audits, however, will be on the owners/managers of the buildings, in consultation with the various agencies. While in the structural safety audit, the owners will check if the building is earthquake proof and structurally strong, the fire audit will find out whether all the emergency gates are functional and all electrical works are in their proper place.
The audits will also find out whether the security guards positioned inside the buildings are trained and whether the structure has disaster management plans in place.
“All the high-rises building in areas such as Barakhamba, KG Marg and those in Vasant Vihar, Delhi Cantonment will need to get a structural safety and fire audit conducted to find out whether they are safe or not.
For example, the audits will check if the high-rises have fire ladders or not for rescue in case of an exigency.
These audits have to be carried out by the owner of the buildings in consultation with officials concerned.
Adequate time will be given so that audits can be completed but in case of non-compliance, we will take strict action. This may include sealing the building too,” said a senior Delhi government official.
After the recent tremors in the city, the Public Grievances Commission (PGC) had asked the government regarding the state of preparedness.
“The purpose of the audit is to identify the gaps and fix them. For instance, if retrofitting is required it has to be certified that it has been done properly. A meeting of all the stakeholders is being conducted to inform them about it,” added the official.