The district fire department has decided to move court against at least 71 high-rises that have failed to comply with fire safety norms.
On Monday, the department will file cases against 15 offenders, which include developers of commercial and residential apartments.
According to fire officials, cases will be lodged against individual building owners and some developers of the housing societies where fire safety systems were not installed or the equipment were not maintained as per the guidelines of the Fire Act 2009. Majority of the erring structures include residential buildings, while a few of them are commercial complexes, the officials said, refusing to divulge names.
“According to the law, not having proper fire safety mechanism is an offence punishable with a jail term of up to three months or a fine of up to R5,000, or both. If one does not comply with the norms despite repeated notices, the owner will be fined R1,000 per day. Surprise inspections will be conducted in hospitals and other such buildings frequented by the public,” said IS Kashyap, district fire officer, Gurgaon.
The department had identified 71 buildings across the city that lack basic fire safety equipment. Notices have already been issued to the offenders, giving them 15 days’ time to put in place essential safety devices such as fire extinguishers. At some buildings, the machines were found to be defunct.
According to the fire department, most high-rise housing societies have not even appointed fire safety officers for monitoring and maintaining of fire safety systems.
The district fire officer said that these housing societies are also violating the guidelines of the National Building Code.
“Earlier we had issued notices to 104 societies asking them to upgrade their fire safety system. Among them, 66 have failed to do so,” Kashyap said.
The department then refused to renew the no-objection certificates (NoCs) of these buildings when they failed to upgrade the safety systems despite being given additional six months’ time.