Gzb fire: Officials suspect building may have permit for residential use only

  • Peeyush Khandelwal, Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
  • Updated: May 14, 2016 23:59 IST
Five persons died in the fire. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Fire department officials said they will not be able to act against the owner of the building as any violation of the by-laws and land use has to be dealt by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA).

The officials said as per the norms, the building did not need a no-objection certificate (NOC) for fire safety.

“NOC is required for buildings constructed on more than 500 sqm area or higher than 15 metres. The development authority will have to see whether the building is for residential land use and was being used for commercial activities,” said Akshay Ranjan Sharma, chief fire officer (CFO) at Ghaziabad.

Officials from the GDA’s town planning department told HT that the owner of the building had applied for conversion of the land use from residential to commercial, but the application was rejected.

“We have already issued a notice to the building owner for carrying out operations against the residential land use. We have fined him once for the violation. We will inquire about the present status and initiate action against the owner,” said Ravindra Godbole, GDA’s secretary and officiating vice-chairman.

The GDA is yet to take strict action against commercial operations being carried out in residential areas under its jurisdiction.

In September 2013, the Allahabad high court pulled up the development authority and asked it to take action against such violations.

The authority then ordered a survey and identified 8,187 such commercial operations.

“We have served notices for most violations. We will take further action,” Godbole said.

Not just the GDA, the fire department also has shortcomings. It does not have a hydraulic platform to reach highrises.

The department was allotted R4.5 crore by the GDA last year, but the hydraulic platform is yet to be procured.

“The chassis of the vehicle has been purchased and it will be sent to Gurgaon for advanced fittings. We hope to get the hydraulic platform by this month,” the CFO said.

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