Delhi PG fire: MCD orders survey to check for violations
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has started a survey of all paying guest accommodations in the Civil Lines zone after a fire broke out in a women's PG accommodation. MCD will focus on the norms of the Delhi Master Plan 2021 and the height of buildings during the survey. There are no specific norms for operating a PG facility in residential areas and the corporation does not issue PG licenses. MCD has said that if the height of the PG building is more than 9m and accommodates more than 20 people, a fire NOC is mandatory.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on Thursday started a survey of all paying guest accommodations in the Civil Lines zone after a massive fire broke out in a women’s paying guest accommodation in N Block of Mukherjee Nagar on Wednesday.
In an official statement, the civic body said it issued directions to the zonal building department to keep their office open on September 28 to conduct a survey of PG housings in all wards of the Civil Lines zone.
MCD said a team rushed to the site and carried out a preliminary investigation, adding that the fire started from the electric meter in the stilt area where old furniture was kept and a rickshaw was parked.
Officials said that there are no specific norms for operating a PG facility in residential areas and the corporation does not issue PG licenses.
A senior municipal official said that the building department will primarily focus on the norms of the Delhi Master Plan 2021 and the height of buildings mandated under the unified building by-laws during the survey.
“According to the MPD 2021, paying guest accommodations are permitted but there is minimum right of way (ROW) of the road as well as minimum plot size for such PG units. For instance, in A-D category colonies, they should have a minimum of 200 square plot metre area,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
MCD has said that if the height of the PG building or coaching centre is more than 9m and accommodates more than 20 people, a fire NOC is mandatory.
Officials said they will also closely look at residential buildings being used for commercially, payment of property tax for rented accommodations and the construction of smaller rooms without necessary modifications in the building plan.
“We are focusing on the issues pertaining to MCD. But all people living on rent are expected to register themselves with the police as it would be easier for the Delhi Police to find out who is registered,” an MCD official said.
A second MCD official associated with building norms enforcement said that while the civic body does not issue licenses for PG housings, the basic norms of building by-laws have to be followed.
“The Mukherjee Nagar area has rampant violations with buildings taller than 17m. These are commercial units operating in residential areas where 40-50 people stay in spaces meant only for 4-5 people. A building turns into an ‘assembly building’ if more than 50 people are present and more stringent norms and fire safety rules come into place,” the official said.
Wednesday’s fire broke out just a day after 20 coaching centres were sealed by the building department in the same area in the aftermath of the blaze in June.