Sans safety certificate, govt depts in Chandigarh play with fire : The Tribune India

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Sans safety certificate, govt depts in Chandigarh play with fire

Hospitals, hotels, PU among buildings issued notices

Sans safety certificate, govt depts in Chandigarh play with fire

The Old UT Secretariat in Sector 9, Chandigarh. PHOTO: Vicky



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, April 13

Despite time-to-time notices, government buildings in the city, including hospitals, office of the UT Deputy Commissioner, the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Secretariats, UT police headquarters, Panjab University and CITCO hotels, continue to operate without fire safety certificate putting lives of people at risk.

Discrepancies detected

  • During inspections of some buildings, firemen found yard hydrants leaking, nozzle and internal hydrant accessories missing and fire detection and public address systems non-functional.
  • In several offices, almirahs, furniture, files and other stuff were found kept in corridors and basements.
  • Underground or surface tank to store water for firefighting purpose was also not there among other requirements.

Officials don’t take action

Though the Fire Department has power to seal buildings, its officials do not take action. If they would take action against one building, others will surely fall in line. — Harman Singh Sidhu, founder of Arrive Safe, an NGO

According to the Municipal Corporation, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, has procured the certificate only for one block. The PGI, which witnessed back-to-back major fire mishaps recently, too has not moved beyond getting a safety certificate for the Nehru Extension Block.

During inspections of some buildings, firemen found yard hydrants leaking, nozzle and internal hydrant accessories missing and fire detection and public address systems non-functional. In several offices, almirahs, furniture, files and other stuff were found kept in corridors and basements. Underground or surface tank to store water for firefighting purpose was also not there among other requirements.

“We have listed out building-wise discrepancies to the departments concerned. They are now being given deadlines to meet the requirements. They are now going to float tenders to have the required equipment and other arrangements. The tenders seem to have got delayed due to imposition of the model code of conduct in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections," said a fire wing officer.

Officials said government schools with buildings below 15m in height do not have to mandatorily procure the fire safety certificate as per the National Building Code of India, 2016. However, they are issued advisory to at least have fire extinguishers. Other such premises have also been issued advisories.

To ensure that all government and private buildings get fire safety certificate, Harman Singh Sidhu, founder of Arrive Safe, an NGO, said, "The Fire Department is toothless. The department should have a power to issue challans to violators just like the police. More than awareness, enforcement will have an impact. Though the department has power to seal buildings, its officials do not take action. If they would take action against one building, others will surely fall in line."

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#Panjab University Chandigarh


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