As many 1,386 buildings, including 288 belonging to educational institutions, have come up without no objection certificates from the fire and emergency services department of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).
This fact came to the fore after a detailed survey and inspection of high rise, commercial, industrial and educational buildings carried out by the nine fire stations across municipal corporation limits.
The NMC’s fire department has started initiating action against violators under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
A senior official from the department said owners of these buildings did not seek the mandatory NOC. “These buildings were found to be in violation of the mandatory clearance,” the official said, adding, “Private educational institutions, hospitals and industrial buildings were not equipped to deal with fires. Any untoward incident could prove calamitous.”
The preliminary inspection of these buildings have raised doubts whether the owners have sought the building sanction plan from the NMC’s town planning department or the Nagpur Improvement Trust. The department has started initiating action under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. Notices have been served to occupants of these buildings. They have been asked to install firefighting equipment.
From the list of buildings violating norms, 149 have started installing fire-fighting infrastructure. “Most of them have also entrusted private agencies for the purpose,” he said.
So far, the department has issued NOCs to 5,595 buildings, including 1,496 residential, 854 assembly halls, 495 hospitals, 510 mercantile and 665 industrial. Even these buildings too have not complied with the firefighting rules. Only 903 have obtained firefighting compliance.
To implement the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 effectively, the department has started taking stringent action like prosecuting defaulters in court. The department has filed prosecution cases against over 70 owners for ignoring the act.
Meanwhile, chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake has directed nine fire station officers to audit fire fighting arrangements in government and semi-government buildings, including NMC, hospitals and courts.
The decision is the outcome of the recent strictures passed by the high court directing the state public works department to ensure fire-fighting arrangements at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital and GMCH.