NAGPUR: It seems like a disaster is waiting to happen ? nearly 2,358 of the 2,790 buildings in Nagpur have no fire safety clearance. "Only 432 buildings have complied with fire safety norms in Nagpur Municipal Corporation limits. The rest, both commercial or residential, have either not approached the fire and emergency services department for the clearance or not complied with the prescribed fire safety norms," said a source from NMC's fire and emergency services department.
According to statistics of NMC's fire department, 2,790 buildings in NMC limits sought no objection certificates from the department between 1989 and 2014. Of these, 1,422 are above the height of 15 metres. But only 432 have complied with fire safety norms. TOI had on several occasions highlighted how high rise buildings in the city were ignoring the safety norms.
The fire department has started a drive to identify high rises without fire safety equipment as municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane had already announced that the civic body would not compromise with buildings without fire fighting systems. After his direction, the department has started inspecting high rise residential and commercial buildings in the city.
During the inspection, it was found in many high rises the fire fighting systems were not in working condition. "Many multi-storeyed residential and commercial buildings in Nagpur followed the fire safety norms merely as a formality to obtain fire compliance with only a few adhering to the norms with safety consciously," said officiating chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake.
As per the Maharashtra Fire Safety Act issued in 2008, all buildings above 15 metres must have automatic sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers. All buildings must have two staircases, overhead tanks and both diesel and electric pump sets besides clear signages pointing to the exits. Further, he said during an emergency in high rise buildings, fire spreads mostly through the ducts and wiring, all of which must be protected. Public address systems must be installed in all high rise residential and commercial buildings. But hardly any building has these systems in place.