Safety mea­sures lack­ing, own­ers to be put on no­tice

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTCHANDIGA­RH - Hil­lary Vic­tor hil­lary.vic­tor@hin­dus­tan­times.com

OWNER SAYS UNIT HAD FIRE EXTINGUISH­ERS AND SAND, BUT AS NO WORKER WAS PRESENT ON THE PREMISES, THEY COULD NOT BE USED

MO­HALI: A plas­tic prod­ucts fac­tory which was partly gut­ted in a fire on Satur­day at In­dus­trial Area, Phase 9, Mo­hali, did not have safety mea­sures in place, a fire de­part­ment re­port re­vealed on Sun­day.

The unit, Ac­cu­tex Sales and Ser­vices, had out­dated fire extinguish­ers. It also lacked a smoke de­tec­tion alarm, il­lu­mi­nated exit sign, smoke check door, fire con­trol room or fire lifts with fire­man’s switch that al­lows fire­fight­ers to dis­con­nect power from high volt­age de­vices. No hose reels to spray wa­ter were in­stalled.

The fire broke out at around 6 pm, an hour af­ter all 30 work­ers had left the premises .

“We will sub­mit the re­port to the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion com­mis­sioner on Mon­day and will also is­sue no­tices to the fac­tory owner. The build­ing lacked fire equip­ment,” said fire of­fi­cer Karam Chand Sood.

“Also the ex­act rea­son for the fire is yet is as­cer­tained though we sus­pect it was due to a short­cir­cuit,” he added.

Fac­tory owner Paras Shah claimed that they had suf­fered losses of ₹25 lakh. On ask­ing about fire safety mea­sures adopted by the unit, he said, “We had fire extinguish­ers and sand, but no worker was present so it could not be used.”

FIRE TRAGEDIES: NO LES­SON LEARNT

The re­cent fire tragedies seem to have had no im­pact on the au­thor­i­ties, even af­ter a safety au­dit fol­low­ing the Su­rat coach­ing cen­tre fire tragedy in May last year re­vealed sev­eral vi­o­la­tions in most of its com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments.

Af­ter sub­mit­ting its re­port to the Mo­hali to deputy com­mis­sioner in June last year, the fire de­part­ment also is­sued 200 no­tices to com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments fall­ing un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion on June 14 last year seek­ing com­pli­ance with fire safety norms.

They were warned their wa­ter and sew­er­age con­nec­tions would be snapped. How­ever, no ac­tion was taken.

The re­vised rules as per Na­tional Build­ing Code 2016 re­quire stair­cases at the rear of show­rooms, some­thing that can­not be done in the ex­ist­ing struc­tures.

That’s why “we can­not give no-ob­jec­tion cer­tifi­cates (NoC) un­til the bye-laws are re­laxed. There is no way to tackle the is­sue,” Sood had said last year.

The fire de­part­ment re­port had iden­ti­fied 500 com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments in Mo­hali, Kharar and Ku­rali which were not com­ply­ing with fire safety norms and in­cluded coach­ing cen­tres, ho­tels and other show­rooms.

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