Even as Wankhede stadium is being readied as the venue for three World Cup cricket matches, including the final, it still has to get the all-important occupation certificate (OC) from the fire brigade. The fire department has denied the certificate to the rebuilt stadium citing lack of fire safety arrangements.
After the owner of the stadium, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), had applied for an OC, a team of senior fire brigade officials inspected the stadium last week.
But, they found that the stipulated fire safety apparatus was not in place.
“We have denied the stadium an OC for now. We will not be able to give them one unless they comply with all the fire safety norms,” said a senior official from the department.
Among the mandatory fire apparatus are a ring hydrant system, water hydrants at every 100 metres and an internal riser system for the stands. These measures are necessary to prevent or minimise casualties in case of a mishap.
Lalchand Rajput, secretary MCA, confirmed that the fire brigade had inspected the stadium and that the MCA was waiting for their response. “The fire safety arrangements at the stadium are in place and in accordance with stipulated norms,” Rajput told HT.
On receiving an application for an OC for any new structure, the fire brigade department first checks whether the fire safety norms mentioned by them while granting permission for the construction have been fulfilled.
The department then sends its remarks to the building proposal department, which then issues a structural OC to the construction.
For the three match days, the MCA will now have to go back to the fire brigade to get a special no objection certificate (NOC).
“The police and the fire brigade had a meeting on Saturday and we are going to chalk out safety measures before granting the NOC,” said a senior civic official.
The fire department also said that if for those three days the organisers wanted help from fire officials, they would have to pay for the services.