Almost all major government buildings in Gurgaon don’t have safety certificate from the fire department. This was revealed by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) in an RTI response.
“The buildings, including the Mini Secretariat, the office of the police commissioner, the MCG building opposite Civil Hospital, new courts complex, the Huda administrator’s office, the Huda estate office, office of deputy general manager of Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, CRPF complex at Kadarpur and police stations in Gurgaon district don’t have a no-objection certificate from the fire department.
However, the Civil Hospital is the only building which has the certificate,” the MCG said in the RTI reply. The RTI applicationwas filed by Harinder Dhingra.
According to MCG, all buildings — 15 metres tall or above — require approval of fire fighting scheme from local fire and emergency services department.
Once building construction is over, then obtaining an NOC is mandatory. The NOC is issued for a period of one year initially and has to renewed every year.
The National Building Code (NBC) 2005 made the fire safety certificate mandatory for all the buildings taller than 15m. However, the government offices flout the norms openly. For instance, the six-storey Mini Secretariat near Rajiv Chowk has been ill-equipped to combat a fire accident. The seven-year-old building has only four fire extinguishers against 12 required.
According to the NBC, every floor of a building must have at least two fire extinguishers. But the Mini Secretariat has fire extinguishers only at the ground floor (where the sub-divisional magistrate sits), the first floor (where the deputy commissioner sits) and the third floor where a foreign registration office is set up. The building houses offices of the district magistrate, the sub-divisional magistrate and the joint and deputy commissioners of police.
Hindustan Times had published a report last year highlighting lack of preparedness.
Similarly, the Huda office in Sector 14 that comprises of two buildings also does not have the certificate. Same is the case with all 23 police stations, including the commissioner’s office, in the district. This poses a grave risk as these buildings house important records pertaining to the district.
“Fire can breakout in any building, public or private. It is important that the buildings shorter than 15m must have water and sand buckets and extinguishers as NBC norms are not applicable on them. There is no check on the fire safety in such buildings,” said SK Dehri, former chief fire officer for Delhi. He presently is the group head of fire and safety for the DLF Group.
Deputy commissioner of Gurgaon Shekhar Vidyarthi said, “I will look into the matter as soon as possible. Not only police stations, anganwadis and tehsil offices should also have fire-fighting equipment. Wherever there is public entry, such system is a must.”