Sunday, December 31, 2017

25 firms flout fire safety norms in Pune


PUNE: The fire safety of structures in the city has gained center-stage after a fire in Kamala Mills of Lower Parel in Mumbai claimed 14 lives and left a score of people injured. The city has witnessed over 2,000 fire outbreak incidents till November 2017 and records an average of 2,500 fire incidents annually, according to fire brigade officials. 

The fire department of Pune had sent notices to various organisations asking them to update the fire security equipment in their buildings. Some of the structures which came under the fire department’s scanner were five-star and four-star hotels with restaurants and bars in their premise. 

“The fire brigade receives complaints against such organisations and we act upon them. We send them a three-hour intimation before visiting the site and taking stock of their fire safety infrastructure. We prepare a report, show it to our superiors and then send a notice,” said Gangad, assistant fire officer, Pune. 

The safety measures need to be in line with the Maharashtra Fire Safety Act, according to Prashant Ranpise, chief fire officer (CFO), Pune. They have issued notice to 25 organisations so far, according to to CFO Ranpise. While some organisations fail to keep space around the structure for fire vehicles in case of an emergency, some misuse or fail to maintain the refuge area which exists in order to provide a space away from a possible incident of fire.

When buildings are provided with permissions from the local authorities, a refuge area at and above a certain height is necessary. Ranpise had claimed that the organisations who were served with notices generally responded to the requirements immediately.

The fire department is called in for various other purposes including pulling bodies out of mangled structures. In the past week alone, four incidents of fire brigade officials pulling people out of mangled vehicles and manholes was recorded in Pune.

No NOCs sought by pubs in Pune

In wake of the recent incident of a massive fire outbreak that led to the loss of life of at least 14 people in Mumbai’s Kamla Mills compound, the safety concerns of pubs in Pune have come into focus. According to fire department officials, pubs in Pune do not have a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire services department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Speaking to the, chief fire officer, Pune Municipal Corporation, Prashant Ranpise, said that pubs in Pune have not been issued NOCs from fire department. As far as I remember, not a single pub has sought the clearance certificate from our department. We regularly publish advertisements in local newspapers regarding NOCs by all commercial establishments.”

Ranpise, further said that his department has given a no-objection certificate to all hoteliers in city. “The certificate mentioning that the kitchen area and exhausts are safe and that safety measures are in place, has been issued to hotels in the city.”

As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, a builder must procure a fire compliance certificate for any building that is taller than 15 metres. According to advocate Anil Nene, it is mandatory for commercial establishments to install fire safety measures as these places attract a large number of people. “Wherever a large number of people gather, fire safety measures are necessary and so is the NOC from the fire department,” said Nene.

When asked for a response, Ganesh Shetty, president of hotel and bar association of Pune, said, “All bars and pub owners require a no-objection certificate from the fire department of the municipal corporation.Without that certificate, the license to operate hotel cannot be renewed.” Shetty added there are 30 pubs operating in city and for fire safety purposes, all of them need to ensure that NOCs are issued after a fire safety audit, which has to be conducted on a regular interval.”


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