THE TRIBUNE SPECIAL

No lessons learnt, only 70 PGs in Chandigarh have fire NOC

Was made mandatory after 3 girls died in a fire mishap

Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, May 26

Even two years after the fire safety certificate was made mandatory for paying guest (PG) accommodations following the death of three girl students in a PG fire mishap, only 70 have bothered to procure the fire no-objection certificate (NOC).

After several fire-safety violations were found by officials in the Sector 32 PG accommodation, an NOC from the Fire Department was made mandatory for the registration of any (PG) accommodation.

 However, of the hundreds of PGs which operate in the city, only a handful have done the needful. PGs have mushroomed in almost all sectors, but most of these are located in Sector 15, 21, 22, 32, 34, 35 and 36.

A “to let” board installed outside a house in Sector 15, Chandigarh.

During a random check in some sectors by a team of Chandigarh Tribune, PG boards were found missing outside houses. The PG boards have been replaced with “To let” or “on rent’ boards. Sector 15, where a number of houses used to have boards displaying “PG available”, had “To let” boards.

‘Inspect such places’

In the absence of any check, illegal PGs are mushrooming in the city. The authorities must inspect places where PGs are being run in the guise of rented accommodation. The authorities wake up only when some mishap occurs. —Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, FOSWAC

‘Will conduct survey’

We will conduct a survey regarding the fire NOC and take necessary action. —Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner

On being contacted, Neeraj, who had displayed his phone number on a “To let” board, said, “We provide PGs and a have number of such facilities in Sector 15.” On being asked, some students in other sectors said they were staying in PGs, but the board displayed outside mentioned “To let”. Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC), said, “Illegal PGs are mushrooming in the city in the absence of any check. The authorities must inspect places where PGs are being run in the guise of rented accommodation. Fire safety seems to be a non-issue for the government. They only wake up when some mishap occurs.”

Meanwhile, MC officials said the matter pertaining to the PG registrations fell in the purview of the Estate Office and the fire NOC was a must.

Tribune Shorts


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