AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Tuesday directed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to take concrete action against 26 highrise commercial buildings, including sealing, as they do not possess fire NOC.
The high court also ordered the civic body to take action against 1,128 residential buildings and other 259 highrise buildings which are used for commercial and residential purposes. It has given two weeks’ time to the authorities with hopes that the civic body would take concrete action against three categories of buildings and come up with a report by June 30.
Meanwhile, the HC took notice of the state government’s survey of 2,160 buildings in municipalities, out of which 1,833 – 84.86% buildings were found existing in violation of building byelaws, without BU permission. The court has asked the government to find out a solution to this issue in five weeks. tnn
The Gujarat high court on Tuesday directed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to take concrete action including sealing against 26 high-rise commercial buildings that do not possess fire NOCs as they failed to get their fire prevention systems audited in time.
The bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri ordered the civic body to act against 1,128 residential buildings and 259 other high-rise buildings used for commercial and residential purposes. The court has granted two weeks’ time to the authorities with hopes that the civic body would take concrete action against three categories of buildings and come up with a report by June 30.
AMC submitted that its filing of criminal complaints has yielded positive results and there was a rush for renewal of fire NOC by defaulters.
But the court said, “Mere initiation of criminal prosecution or taking action by initiating a process other than not sealing the premises would not yield immediate results.” The court said that AMC has got powers to seal the buildings in the absence of valid fire NOCs.
The court further said, “When there are 26 commercial buildings without fire NOCs, it is high time that AMC not only initiates appropriate action to make them obtain fire NOCs but also seals such buildings.”
The court said that this was required to avoid any untoward incident or risk to the lives of occupants. “It would be most appropriate for the corporation to prevent such incidents rather than repenting after such an incident occurs,” the court added while directing the civic body to take stringent action to make the buildings comply with fire safety rules.
The petitioner in this case, advocate Amit Panchal, urged the HC for quick action because the issue has been at large before the court in different litigations for the past 22 years. He also alleged that the criminal complaints are being filed against a certain set of people.
The AMC informed the HC that of the 10,468 highrises and community buildings, 1,416 were without fire NOCs. It had filed 45 criminal complaints against defaulters till date and urged the HC to direct the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) to designate more courts so that the AMC could file complaints against buildings without fire NOCs.
The judges said that they would issue necessary instructions while directing the CMM to immediately look into AMC’s request for more designated courts.
The government also submitted that out of 1,362 government schools across the state, 14 were without fire NOCs and 34 of the 78 government colleges did not comply with fire safety rules. It promised the HC to ensure they adhered to the rule within two months.
The chief justice suggested that a huge penalty, 10 times more than what was imposed previously, could be imposed on the defaulters, “but the state has to come up with something”, he insisted.
The petitioner complained that the state government did not place details about its survey regarding violation of building bylaws in corporation areas.