Telangana: Fire norms for commercial buildings below 15 metres mooted

September 29, 2022
 Representational Image
Representational Image

HYDERABAD: In the wake of recent fire accidents in the city, the state government has decided to bring in a new policy to make fire safety guidelines mandatory even for commercial buildings below 15 metres in height.

Presently, under the Telangana Fire Service Act, 1999, a fire no objection certificate (NoC) is mandatory only for commercial buildings above 15 metres and residential buildings above 18 metres in height.

However, GHMC insists on fire safety measures for commercial and residential establishments while issuing building permissions. After the Bhoiguda fire accident, which had claimed 12 lives in March, a meeting was held between the director-general, fire services, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner, police and other officials to come up with a comprehensive policy.

Officials said that a proposal has already been submitted to the government to bring in a monitoring system for commercial and residential establishments below 15 metres and 18 metres respectively. Under the proposal, officials said that a fire licence would be issued to establishments that don’t come under the ambit of fire NoC and that separate guidelines would be in place to ensure fire safety measures were taken.

The issue was also raised at the GHMC general body meeting last week by the corporators. To which, GHMC chief city planner Devender Reddy admitted that majority of the fire accidents were occurring at commercial establishments below 15 metres in height.

“As there is no fire NoC provision for these buildings, we are not insisting. A majority of fire accidents in recent times had happened at buildings less than 15 metres in height. Fire accidents do not happen in high rises because there is a regular fire audit there,” Reddy said. He also said that the government would come up with a notification regarding the new policy soon.

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