Safe Ganesh Chaturthi: Mumbai pandals must follow fire brigade’s rules
This year, Ganpati mandals will have to follow the 23 safety rules drafted and submit a fire safety undertaking; rules drafted after the 2017 Kamala Mills fire.Updated: Jul 23, 2018 10:57 IST
Ganesh Chaturthi in the city is likely to be safer this year with the fire brigade drafting a list of safety requirements that mandals will have to follow while erecting pandals.
This is the first time that Mumbai fire brigade has come up with such an extensive list for temporary religious structures. These pointers will be added to the codified fire safety requirements drafted after the Kamala Mills fire in December 2017.
So far, mandals had to follow basic fire safety requirements for building pandals, which did not require separate permissions from the fire brigade – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) permission was enough.
However, this year, mandals will have to strictly follow the 23 safety rules drafted and submit a fire safety undertaking to the respective wards.
Inspections may take place at the ward level. A fire brigade official said, “This is the first time that we have listed out the fire safety requirements for all temporary religious structures, under the chief fire officer’s codified fire safety requirements. It will apply to Ganesh and Navratri pandals, and other temporary religious structures.”
Under the new rules, it is compulsory for Ganesh mandals to appoint a fire marshal, who is acquainted with summoning the fire brigade, evacuation and fire-fighting procedure, from among themselves.
Based on the pandal’s size, organisers will have to arrange fire extinguishers and hydrants with at least nine litres of water, and dry powder that is used for fire fighting.
Pandals must be erected at least 10ft away from any building and must not block any entrances, internal access ways, and approach roads. They should not be constructed around railway lines, furnaces, or electric substations. Pandals will also not be allowed to store anything below the stage.
The rules also mandate that no bulbs, wiring, or flood lights be installed within 15cm of any combustible decorative material.
If a carpet is laid out on the pandal, it needs to be covered with fire retardant paint.
First Published: Jul 23, 2018 10:56 IST