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Posted at: Jun 20, 2019, 7:57 AM; last updated: Jun 20, 2019, 7:57 AM (IST)

Govt buildings cock a snook at fire safety rules, put on notice

Govt buildings cock a snook at fire safety rules, put on notice
Almirahs, furniture and files at a parking in the basement of the MC building in Sector 17, Chandigarh. Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 19

Almost all major government office buildings, including the Punjab and Haryana Mini-Secretariats, the UT Secretariat, the UT Police Headquarters, the AG, Punjab, and the local Municipal Corporation have once again been put on notice for defaulting on fire safety norms.

After inspecting the offices, the Fire Department of the MC has issued notices to them to comply with the norms within a month. “The firefighting system was not found maintained in most buildings,” said an official.

“We conduct inspections regularly. When we serve them notice, at times they comply with the norms. However, by the time the next inspection is conducted, some violation is again found,” said a fire official.

The Fire Department had last year served notices on these government offices, but the fire safety violations continue. “We do regular follow-ups of buildings. Those who fail to follow the norms will face action,” said station fire officer SK Gosain.

Besides irregularities in the firefighting system, MC officials found yard hydrants leaking in some buildings. In some, the nozzle and internal hydrant accessories were found missing. In some offices, fire detection and public address systems were not working. In some premises, corridors and basements were covered with almirahs, furniture, files and other office stuff.

“Some of the offices complied with these provisions after notices were served on them. However, some have failed to act,” said an official.  

Social activist RK Garg said, “At the time of getting NOCs, establishments fulfil all fire safety norms, but only temporarily. In the absence of any regular checks by the department, the fire fighting systems are not maintained. The NOC process is not fully online, which leaves a margin for malpractice. How can government officials expect others to follow norms when their own house is not in order?  They should not wait for some tragedy to happen before taking action. There needs to be a proactive approach for this.”   

Get your act together, pubs, restaurants told

Based on its inspection, the Fire Department has asked clubs, pubs and restaurants to get fire anomalies rectified. “Though they have procured an NOC from the Fire Department, during inspection their fire fighting systems are not found maintained. If they do not get their act together, we will issue violation notices to them,” said the station fire officer. 

300 coaching institutes caught on wrong foot

The Fire Department said though they had served notices on 400 coaching institutes, so far 300 had been inspected and fire safety violations were found in these. “We have inspected 300 institutes till now and several violations were found in them. Our survey is on,” said the Fire Department.

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