It takes a tragedy for Chandigarh to act

Three lives lost, Administration to finally frame stringent guidelines for PG accommodations

It takes a tragedy for Chandigarh to act

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26

What All Will Be Factored In

  • New rules to be incorporated in policy for PG accommodations
  • Fire clearance to be made mandatory for such facilities
  • Licence to be renewed annually after inspection of premises

  • Exclusive enforcement squad to be in place for checking

  • Capacity of each PG to be decided on the basis of size, toilets & space

Waking up from a tragedy, the UT Administration has decided to frame a new policy making annual approvals mandatory for registration of paying guest (PG) accommodations in the city.

Expressing concern over the loss of three precious lives in the recent fire incident in Sector 32, VP Singh Badnore, UT Administrator, has issued directions that fire clearance should be made mandatory for PG accommodations. Besides, the police will have to ensure regular inspections of the premises.

The Administrator issued these directions while presiding over a review meeting with officials of all departments at the UT Secretariat today.

Manoj Parida, Adviser to the UT Administrator, said new guidelines for registration of PG accommodations would be framed and notified soon.

Instead of one-time permission, the licence would be renewed annually after due inspection of the premises, he said, adding that an exclusive enforcement squad would keep a check on PG accommodations on a regular basis. “We will also decide the capacity of each PG depending on the size, toilets and space,” he added.

Tricity PG Assn seeks time

The Tricity PG Association has assured the Administration of its commitment towards strengthening safety measures as prescribed by the authorities. However, the association also sought some time to remove the violations as students’ examinations were in progress. The association also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner and the Estate Officer in this regard.

Prithipal Singh, president of the association, said, “We are strictly instructing all our members to ensure that the safety and security of PG students are not compromised with under any circumstances. We have also instructed them to install firefighting equipment, CCTVs and take other necessary measures for the safety and security of students.”

“We are personally inspecting PG accommodations of our members and also educating those who are not our members in the larger interests of the student community, numbering over one lakh, who come to Chandigarh every year for meeting their career goals,” he said.

Three girl students were killed and two others injured in a fire inside a congested paying guest accommodation in Sector 32-D on Saturday afternoon. The residential building was found violating fire safety norms.

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