A day after a fire broke out at the 26-storey Jolly Maker building at Cuffe Parade, residential committees in south Mumbai said most old residential buildings are not equipped with adequate fire- security systems.
“Many buildings are 60 to 70 years old. Back then, there were no specific rules for fire safety. As a result, most of them do not have a proper fire security system,” said Nelu Gidwani, honorary secretary, Napeansea Road Citizens’ Forum.
Gidwani however pointed out a few instances where residents have voluntarily arranged for fire-fighting equipment in their buildings. “Our apartment is stocked with fire safety apparatus. We regularly assess whether they are functioning properly or not,” said Kirit Hakani, a resident of 50-year-old Anand Niwas at Churchgate.
Citizens suggested that the civic body and fire department introduce mobile fire units that carry basic fire-fighting equipment to tide things over till the fire brigade
But it isn’t only the old housing societies that lack the right infrastructure. Several new high-rises could also do with better fire safety systems, claimed Ashok Batra, chairman, Alta Mount Road Residents Committee. “Buildings are built close to each other. In such cases, accessibility to fire equipment is important,” he said.