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RTI activists complains to human rights panel on fire safety

HT correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, February 09, 2013
First Published: 23:03 IST(9/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:05 IST(9/2/2013)

A local Right to Information (RTI) activist on Saturday complained to Punjab State Human Rights Commission against top showrooms and restaurants at Sarabha Nagar market in the city for allegedly not taking fire safety measures and thus putting the lives of thousands of residents in danger.

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The fact that no showroom at Sarabha Nagar market, also known as Kipps Market, came to light when council of RTI activists secretary Arvind Sharma filed an application with the fire wing of the MC under the RTI Act.

In his complaint to the human rights panel, Sharma demanded action against erring owners of showrooms and restaurants that have ignored public safety.

"There is collusion of these owners with some officials of the fire wing who allow them to work without necessary permission from the fire wing," Sharma claimed in his complaint.

He pointed out that a fire broke out at a restaurant on January 4, though no one was injured. However, it could have resulted in a disaster, the complainant added.

The RTI query was filed on January 7 this year, seeking copies of no-objection certificates issued to these shops and restaurants and the list of defaulters. Sharma alleged that the entire market was a defaulter as none had an NOC.

He further alleged that most structures in the market were illegal as they were actually shop-cum-flats under Ludhiana Improvement Trust scheme but later converted to shop- cum-offices.

Bhupinder Singh, the assistant divisional fire officer, had earlier said that the fire wing would issue notices to the erring shopkeepers and restaurant owners and take suitable action.

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