Representatives of the AOA federation and the Consortium of Ghaziabad on Saturday met chief fire officer Akshay Ranjan Sharma to discuss fire-safety systems in multistorey buildings. They demanded that the non-functional systems be rectified.
Colonel Tejandra Pal Tyagi, chairman of the AOA Federation Ghaziabad cited a recent non-compliance by a promoter that attracted a notice as per 8(2) of the Fire Safety Act 2005.
Colonel Tyagi asked the chief fire officer (CFO) if corrective measures had been taken and the expenditure recovered from the promoter, as per the UP Fire Safety Act 2005.
"As per Section 3 of the Act, you have the power to enter any building with three hours' notice and check fire-safety measures," said Colonel Tyagi. "Have you ever asserted that power? The callous attitude of the administration could well cause a fire calamity."
The fire safety guidelines laid down in the NBC (National Building Code) from 1997 were changed in 2005. However, buildings whose plans were sanctioned as per the 1997 NBC were allowed to be completed as per the 2005 NBC. The 2005 NBC had introduced relaxed norms, including reduced capacity of underground and overhead tanks, which allowed promoters to cut down on sizeable costs.
"As per clause 5.3(b) of the Fire Safety Act," Colonel Tyagi said, "the CFO is supposed to issue an NOC based on the conditions imposed by the local authority prevailing at the time of the plan sanction."
The president of the Consortium of Ghaziabad, Sharat Jha, said, "The promoter is supposed to obtain a yearly NOC from the Fire Department. Has that rule ever been followed? The department is oblivious to the safety of residents. This is in complete violation of Article 21* of the Indian Constitution."
He added that the Fire Department was ill equipped to handle a fire on the higher storeys of a building, as there was no provision of a hydraulic platform. In several societies, the fire refuge area had encroachments that had been approved by the GDA.
President of Raj Hans Society, Shri Arif Mohammed, asked how a builder could refuse passing on the fire-fighting NOC to the AOA.
The CFO has agreed to fix the anomalies immediately.
After due deliberation, the following decisions were arrived at:
1. A thorough survey to check the adequacy of fire-fighting system will be carried out in Express Garden, Niho Scottish, Lotus Pond and Orange County in Indirapuram; Supertech and Paramount Symphony in Crossings Republik; Arunima Palace in Vasundhara; and River Heights and KDP Grand Sawana in Raj Nagar Extension, before April 30. Notices will be issued to the promoter or the RWA for taking corrective measures in case of anomalies. If not complied with, the DM will be requested to seal the building, as per the Act.
2. The Fire Department will expedite the availability of a hydraulic platform from Gurgaon. Till then, it will be ensured that a hydraulic platform is available on call from Meerut or Noida.
3. Fire-fighting wardens will be nominated in consultation with the AOA Federation Ghaziabad and the Consortium of Ghaziabad.
CFO Akshay Ranjan Sharma and the fire officer RK Yadav agreed to henceforth adhere to the current NBC.
*Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 provides that, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law."