Only one hotel in Pune has taken NOC from fire dept ahead of New Year bash
Even as many Puneites are looking forward to usher in the New Year at food joints and hotels, only one hotel The Orchid Hotel has so far taken a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) fire brigade department as on December 28, 2019.
The fire brigade officials have appealed to hotels holding parties to come forward and ensure that they get NOCs, which is mandatory for holding such parties, as memories of the two-year-old fire incident at Kamala Mills in Mumbai is still afresh in people’s mind.
During the New Year eve in 2017, the fire inside the two restaurants at Kamala Mills in Mumbai had claimed 14 lives.
Following the incident, PMC had taken fire compliance seriously and ordered a fire safety audit in the city. According to the fire brigade, they carried out a fire safety audit and found that there were only 12 places which had minor fire compliance problems and it were rectified.
Prashant Ranpise, chief fire brigade, PMC, said, “In 2019, we have decided to issue NOCs to hotels/ restaurants having less than 15 metres space through 14 fire stations across the city and NOCs are given after visiting the site or the hotel.”
Ranpise said that most of the hotels and establishments ask for NOC from fire brigade initially and do not come back for renewal once they have received the licence for three to five years.
“For the New Year bash, restaurants are required to take permissions separately from the fire brigade department,” he said.
Fire department short-staffed to carry out audit of eateries
The fire department hasn’t been able to carry out fire safety audit of most of the eateries in the city owing to manpower shortage.
Prashant Ranpise, chief fire brigade, PMC, said, “It is not possible to conduct fire audits across the city as we are short-staffed. We need at least 35 station officers, but we have only five. With such staff crunch, we focus on firefighting rather than audits.”
He said that as per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act of 2006, the onus of audit and compliance of fire norms falls on the owner of the property. “When any establishment comes for fire NOC, we cross-check that all the conditions are met before issuing the certificate.”
He said that despite multiple follow-ups with the state government regarding recruitment, there has been no positive response.