Noida fire: Minister calls for probe, strict action against fire department
Industry minister Satish Mahana on Thursday inspected the Sector 11 building, in which six persons were charred to death in a fire, said that lax fire department officials will be punished. However, the minister’s stance towards the Noida authority, which is responsible for allowing operations in the building, in violation of several building bylaws, was much softer.noida Updated: Apr 21, 2017 09:42 IST
Industry minister Satish Mahana on Thursday inspected the Sector 11 building, in which six persons were charred to death in a fire, said that lax fire department officials will be punished.
However, the minister’s stance towards the Noida authority, which is responsible for allowing operations in the building, in violation of several building bylaws, was much softer.
“When I questioned why there was no firefighting system in place, the fire department officials were speechless. I sought details of buildings that have fire systems in place but they do not maintain proper records. I inspected another private company in Sector 1 and found that fire safety systems were non-functional. We will take action against officials responsible within 24 hours,” said Mahana.
On being asked about the role of the Noida authority, which has the mandate to support, encourage and monitor the functioning of such industrial units, Mahana said, “I have asked the Noida authority’s additional chief executive officer, PK Aggarwal, to conduct a probe and identify those whose negligence led to the incident.”
The building was issued a provisional no-objection certificate while it was being constructed.
“The building owner submitted drawings of the building and we informed about specifications to be followed for safety. Once the building was ready, they should have applied for an NOC, after which we would have conducted an inspection. The Noida authority was supposed to issue an occupancy certificate only after a thorough check and an NOC from the fire department, but there was a lapse in that process,” said Arvind Kumar, joint director, fire department, Uttar Pradesh.
Kumar will submit a report on fire department officials responsible for the incident. Mahana said that the UP government will take action against the fire department officials after the report is filed.
However, the Noida authority’s planning and industry departments passed the buck to each other on monitoring the building, which was not registered under the Factory Act 1948, nor under the shop and commercial establishment category.
“The industry department issued a functional certificate when the building did not have an occupancy certificate. On the basis of that certificate the building owner obtained power connection,” Praveen Kumar, chief architect and town planner of the Noida authority, said.
An officer on special duty for industry, Naveen Kumar Singh, said, “The planning department should have checked why did the building was constructed in violation of norms.”
Mahana said that he may appoint a senior official to probe the negligence of the Noida authority.
“I will keep visiting Noida to ensure that rules are adhered to. If ACEO PK Agarwal will not do justice to the probe, I will appoint a senior official for the probe, to punish those guilty of lapses,” said Mahana. He also appealed to all industrialists to ensure that fire safety systems are in place.