Chandigarh, May 25
Of over 20,000 commercial establishments in the city, not even 1,000 have bothered to procure the fire-safety certificate/no-objection certificate from the Fire and Emergency Services Department of the Municipal Corporation.
Surprisingly, these include almost all major government departments as well. According to the Municipal Corporation, the Shivalikview, Mountview and Parkview hotels, the GMCH, Sector 32, the GMSH, Sector 16, the PGI (excluding Nehru block), the DC office, the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh secretariats, the Police Headquarters and Panjab University are among those which are yet to get the fire-safety certificate.
What’s needed for a fire-safety certificate
- Fire extinguishers on all floors
- Automated sprinkler system in the entire building
- Escape routes must be clear of any obstruction
- All electrical wirings and installations must comply with the norms of the Bureau of Indian Standards
- Adequate provision for natural ventilation and lighting
- Furniture must be treated with flame-resistant material
- Dumping of any sort of waste material or volatile or flammable liquids is prohibited
“We have sent notices to them several times, but to no avail. These institutions are playing with the lives of the public. In case of a fire, safety of people will be at risk. Some of these government departments and other establishments have applied for the certificate, but they were asked to do away with certain discrepancies, which they haven’t. Thus, they were not issued the certificate,” said an official. An officer privy to the development said: “As per law, we cannot legally force them to take the certificate. At our end, we carry out inspections and timely remind them to take certain measures.”
Seems a non-issue for goverment
Fire safety remains a non-issue with the government. Chandigarh has been upgraded to a smart city, but we do not have the basic mandatory requirement in our buildings. —Harman Sidhu, Founder, ArriveSafe
Harman Sidhu, founder of NGO ArriveSafe, said: “Fire safety remains a non-issue with the government. Chandigarh has been upgraded to a smart city, but we do not have the basic mandatory requirement in our buildings. We should start taking fire safety seriously before something major happens.” He also recently filed an RTI seeking the names of hotels in Sector 43, 45 and 52, which have the fire-safety certificate. As per the MC reply, only one hotel possesses the certificate.
MC Commissioner Anindita Mitra said: “We will carry out a full-fledged survey and take necessary action as per rules.”
Those found wanting
The defaulters include almost all major government departments. According to the MC, the Shivalikview, Mountview and Parkview hotels, the GMCH, Sector 32, the GMSH, Sector 16, the PGI (excluding Nehru block), the DC office, the Punjab,
Haryana and Chandigarh secretariats, the Police Headquarters and Panjab University are among those which are yet to get fire-safety certificate.
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