LUDHIANA: After having served notices to around 25 commercial establishments which did not have necessary fire safety arrangements, fire officials have not followed up with inspections, for which they blamed staff crunch and time constraints in the department.
On the other hand, municipal corporation (MC) authorities assured that they would take action and ask fire officials to ensure safety arrangements in commercial establishments.
Fire officials had started serving notices to commercial establishments, including restaurants, coaching centres and institutes etc in March. The establishments in question were given some time before being subjected to on site inspections but officials never visited the premises.
No check on fire safety equipment, NOCs
MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal had directed the fire brigade to conduct random inspections, especially in commercial and industrial buildings as well as coaching centres to ensure that they installed required fire safety equipment. Officials were also directed to act against violators as per norms but it did not happen.
MC officials said that in 2022, the civic body had issued a public notice asking building owners across the city to get fire safety NOC (no objection certificate) from the fire brigade. However, the drive could not be continued due to manpower shortage in the fire department.
A fire official said that the risk of fire in the summer season had been compounded by shortage of staff in the fire brigade. Conceding that it would be difficult for them to conduct any inspections at this time, he said that the building branch should be instructed to take provisional NoC before approving building plans.
Zonal commissioner Neeraj Jain said, “I have once again asked fire officials concerned to resume their drive and complete the process shortly.”
In most cases of fire outbreak, affected premises have been found to be lacking in fire safety arrangements and equipment.
Published On Jun 4, 2023 at 06:56 PM IST
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