The population in Gautam Budh Nagar is increasing rapidly. The city is full of many high rise buildings and many new high rise projects are under development. Now the important question is, whether these projects are well equipped with proper fire safety equipment.
The incidents of fire outbreak are not uncommon in the high rises of Noida and Greater Noida. Recently, a massive fire broke out inside the 20-story Kamala building in Mumbai on the morning of January 22. It claimed the lives of six people and left 23 injured. This incident has left the residents of the highrise societies of Noida and Greater Noida scared and disturbed.
On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day, January 26, 2022, the Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Associations (NOFAA) has started a six-month fire safety campaign for high rise housing societies.
Rajesh Sahay, General Secretary of NOFAA says, "Fire Safety is a great concern for the residents of high rise societies. To avoid any fire related tragedy in a multi-storey apartment building, NOFAA, in its 61 member apartments, is starting a campaign for the coming 6 months just to rectify all the deficiencies in the fire prevention system. At the time of taking handover from builders, AOAs did not check the functioning of the fire safety system properly. Somehow the builder managed to get the fire NOC to give possession. NOFAA is working day and night for the welfare of the residents."
Sanwarjeet Singh, a member of 7X Sports City association says, "This is a good initiative by NOFAA. The highrise societies are facing many safety issues. In the case of fire, the common area in the societies should not be encroached. There needs to be a proper system to tackle such situations. It is the need of the hour."
Some of the key points for the prevention of such incidents mentioned by the NOFAA are-
-Posters (hard & soft) should be pasted on society notice boards and
social media on fire safety in all high rise societies,
-Fire safety audits should be done to help societies be safer,
-fire mock drills should be installed in the societies,
-fire departments should prepare themselves for high rise societies,
-location maps of fire stations for making people understand the
operations in a state of any contingency.
-Rewards, and recognition for societies for their preparedness on fire
-Regular interaction between AOAs and the fire department
As a lot of societies in Noida and GreNo are still under construction, this means the builder does not have OC/CC (Occupancy Certificate/Completion Certificate). However, the residents live in these societies as they don't have any other viable choice.
A resident of Futech Gateway filed an RTR on the lack of facilities in society. A resident of the housing society speaks on the condition of anonymity, "This project was started in 2010. However, the society is still under construction and lacks basic amenities especially when it comes to fire safety equipment. We had to take possession because we were paying rent and home loan EMIs at the same time. Otherwise, who wants to live in this society? Towers don't have hose reel, there is no sprinkler, no signboard, and no other safety equipment are installed in the society "
Earlier, the residents of Greater Noida West demanded another fire station in their area. As per them, due to only one fire station in Greater Noida West in Techzone 3, it takes more than 30 minutes to reach the fire scene.
Rajiva Singh, President NOFAA says, "Gautam Budh Nagar stands second after Mumbai in having the most number of high rise societies. The concern for the safety of residents here is very real. Vertical living has become more popular in the last ten years and in GB Nagar, it is going to increase in the coming years. Thus, it is very important to pay heed to proper installation of fire safety equipment in all societies."
He adds, "More fire stations should be built in view of increasing population density. Authority should organise educational programs related to fire safety. In the societies, the many residents have covered their balconies with grills for the safety of their children but it creates problems during the time of rescue in case of fire. NOFAA will make a list of societies and check-in on how many societies had the fire audit done and how many are left, and whether the audited societies have proper fire safety
equipment or not."