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Fire safety review of government offices soon

Deputy commissioner orders an audit to check if the buildings are prepared to tackle fire accidents. Himabindu Reddy reports.
Hindustan Times | By Himabindu Reddy, Gurgaon
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2013 01:28 AM IST

The deputy commissioner of Gurgaon on Thursday ordered a survey of all government offices to check for fire preparedness.

HT, in a report on July 22, highlighted that almost all major government buildings in Gurgaon do not have safety certificate from the fire department. This was revealed by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) in an RTI response. Deputy commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi had called for a meeting to review preparedness for disasters such as floods and fire in the district.

“I was surprised to find out that our own building (Mini Secretariat) doesn’t follow fire safety norms and lacks adequate equipment. I have directed all concerned officials to file a reply within the next 15 days before necessary installations are made,” said Vidyarthi.

According to MCG, all buildings — 15 metres tall or above — require a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the local fire and emergency services department. Once the work on a building is completed, obtaining the NOC is mandatory. The NOC is issued for a period of one year initially and has to be renewed every year. The National Building Code (NBC) 2005 made the fire safety certificate mandatory for all the buildings taller than 15m. However, the government offices flout the norms openly. For instance, the six-storey Mini Secretariat near Rajiv Chowk has been ill-equipped to combat a fire accident. The seven-year-old building has only four fire extinguishers against 12 required.

Similarly, the Huda office in Sector 14 that comprises of two buildings also does not have the certificate. Same is the case with all 23 police stations, including the commissioner’s office, in the district. This poses a grave risk as these buildings house important records pertaining to the district.

Vidyarthi also directed concerned officers to form a special team to check fire-fighting arrangements in high-rise buildings and submit a report.

Gurgaon civil surgeon Dr Pushpa Bishnoi has also been directed to form a team of doctors to deal with any crisis.

A 24x7 helpline for disaster management — 1077 — has been installed at the deputy commissioner’s camp office. “Anybody can call the helpline to inform about a flood-like situation, fire or any other emergency that requires the attention of the administration,” the DC added. The official has also asked officers to make a list of all areas in the city that are prone to fire-related accidents.

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