After Mantralaya fire, state plans refuge areas in new bldg | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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After Mantralaya fire, state plans refuge areas in new bldg

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2012 01:46 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

After a fire burnt down three storeys of the Mantralaya building on June 21, the state government has been asked to create refuge areas on the 7th and 14th floors of the new administrative building where people can take shelter.

The director of fire services, along with the fire department, has written to the state government to create 700 sq ft open spaces on the two floors in the 21-storey building with immediate effect.

“The refuge area that is to be created will be done by opening up spaces, having fire-resistant doors, fire hydrants, fire standpipes (hose reels), manual dampers and all safety equipment as communicated by the fire department,” said IA Kundan, director of state disaster management department.

The necessity for building a refuge area had come out in a report by fire officials, which described the administrative building as a bigger fire threat.

“The issue with the new administrative building is that it has only one central staircase and not multiple exits, which makes evacuation difficult,” Kundan said.

The 21-storey building is 68.40m high and has just one staircase that goes through the centre of the building.

The national building guideline stipulates that a refuge area should be provided at every 7th habitable floor of buildings that are more than 30 metres high.

The renovation of the main building is also in progress, although it has been delayed.

The makeover, which will happen in two-phases, will make the government headquarters into a modern one, centrally air-conditioned with top class fire-fighting facilities.

Offices on each floor will be located on one side, leaving open a wide corridor to facilitate evacuation in case of an emergency.