In the wake of the recent fire at National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) building in Sector 17, HT takes a look at other buildings which are waiting for a mishap to happen. In the past year and a half, at least 200 notices have been issued to commercial establishments for ensuring fire safety norms throughout the city, but to no avail.
Safety measures are far from satisfactory at the Sector 17 commercial area. Violating building bylaws, every showroom has a single entry and there is no gap between buildings. If there are four entry gates to the building, only one is left open, while the other are blocked with wooden doors or grills.
A visit to the Sector-17 market reveals that the cement structure buildings, built way back in 1966, are withering. Alterations have been made by building owners without getting their plans cleared. The entry and exit points are the same.
Fire fighting systems installed are just for the sake of it and hardly function. The corridors are also left clogged.
Alterations have been made to adjust more and more people in limited space at Sector 17A and E. Wires hanging lose are also a common sight.
One of the busiest areas, the Bank Square in Sector 17B, is no different. Vehicles are parked in a haphazard manner making it impossible for fire tenders to move. The markings for emergency service vehicles have also disappeared.
Sector 17C, where UT deputy commissioner’s office is located, also remains jam-packed with a number of other offices situated in the area.
Another cemented building near the DC office which has the social welfare department’s office on one of its floors, is in an appalling condition with cracks and unexposed wires. The lift is also as old as the building and cannot be used in case of an emergency.
City-based architect SD Sharma said, “The building owners should have a mechanism to ensure fire safety measures. Up-to-date technology should be used and equipments such as sprinklers, censors and fire-resistant paints should be installed.”