Nearly 700 buildings, including industrial units, hospitals, malls, group housing societies and hotels, are operating without standard firefighting equipment and a no-objection certificate from the fire department, a survey has found.
Between January 1 and April 30, fire officials inspected 1,587 buildings and found that 670 — or nearly 42% — did not obtain no-objection certificates from the department. More than 40% of the buildings that have fire NOCs did not have standard fire-fighting arrangements, it noted.
Chief fire officer (CFO) Rahul Pal has issued show-cause notices to the owners of the 670 and directed them to install proper equipment within a month. “The buildings with poor fire-fighting infrastructure have been given 15 days to comply with the set norms and upgrade their equipment, failing which the department will initiate action against them,” the officer said.
According to the data shared, around 63% of the 276 hospitals in the district, including government-run ones, do not have fire NOC. Nearly 66% of the 435 factories in the district and 68% of the 176 hotels and restaurants also do not have the NOCs.
“Only 100 hospitals of the 276 hospitals in the district inspected over the first four months of the year have functional firefighting equipment and NOCs. Among them, we have asked some to make minor changes in their firefighting equipment. A total of 176 hospitals are yet to apply for the fire NOC. We have served them notices and given them a month’s time to obtain NOCs from the department. Soon, we will send the list to their chief medical officers,” the CFO said.
The department inspected 176 hotels and found only 57 had NOCs and up to the mark of fire equipment.
“There are 25 malls in the district. During the inspection, we found all had NOCs and their equipment was up to the mark,” CFO said.
The fire department also inspected the schools and residential societies in the district. Of the 345 group housing societies inspected, 297 had fire NOCs. Notices were served to the AOAs and developers of the remaining 48.
The survey found of 355 schools, only 42 did not have fire NOCs.
“Soon after the notices were served, the fire department got the 589 applications for NOC. So far, clearance certificates have been issued to 386. Forty applications were received with wrong credentials and the department raised objection in rest,” the CFO said. He added that the survey was still underway.
Nearly 360 fire incidents have been reported across the district in the first quarter of the year and 70 people were rescued by the department. Fire officials said over 30% of these incidents were reported from illegal factories while 20% were from hotels and restaurants. “Twenty-five per cent of fire incidents occurred in high-rise societies. Around 50% of fires were caused due to short circuits, while 25% can be attributed to garbage burning,” the CFO said.