In a recent inspection, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) found that out of 485 high-rise buildings, 478 were without any fire safety equipments. Amongst these buildings Civil Lines fire station has also been included. NMC has claimed that it had sought help of the Police Department to act against such unsafe buildings.
NMC has also approached the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, about the ongoing inspection of High Rise Buildings in the city.
After all the legal and security backups, NMC has issued notices to 311 property owners under Section 6 and declared 104 buildings are unsafe to ensure compliance with fire safety norms and National Building Code.
A suo-motu PIL has also been charged against these buildings about lack of occupancy certificate by as many as 2,300 high-rise buildings in city. Justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Amit Borkar have been handling the case who has directed the respondent authorities to ensure compliance with fire safety norms and file an affidavit within one week.
After noticing fire mishaps in many cities the High Court had directed NMC and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to ensure compliance with fire safety requirement under Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
Occupancy certificate denotes completion of building as per sanctioned plan, which has been submitted by only 432 people. As per information, during last 25 years, as many as 2,790 persons had applied for procuring ‘no objection certificate’ from Fire Department.
In past few years it has also been noticed that the residents and developers of 2,358 buildings did not bother to install proper fire safety equipment. The report also revealed that most of the multi storey buildings constructed during last 25 years did not obtain occupancy certificates, which meant that purchasers and residents notionally faced safety issue.
The High Court noted that under Fire Safety Act, all buildings whether new or old had to show compliance with statutory provision.
In this regard, the High Court had made it clear that if any mishap reported, the responsibility would be fastened upon any of the respondents–NMC, NIT, and Fire Department. After the orders from HC, NMC claimed that under Sections 6 and 8 of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, action had already been initiated.