NMC fire department declares 1,482 buildings in fresh survey unsafe

Nagpur: The number of unsafe buildings has increased significantly in the last two years, the latest survey by the fire and emergency services department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) shows. As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 City, the department deemed 1,482 city structures unsafe as of January 20, 2020.

They cover all types, from residential properties to educational institutions, hospitals, industrial structures, bars and restaurants, commercial centers and mixed occupancies. After inspections under two drives, the department collated data on errant systems. In one, 4,433 structures with first fire NOC were assessed by the department, while in the second, before 2006, 994 were inspected which were governed by old norms.

The latter group also comprises 64 places in which tuition classes are offered. The department served notices to disconnect electricity and water supplies in 812 locations. The Department audited another 180 government buildings under the same action plan, officials said.

In a few days, NMC will likely publish a list with the names of these violators on its website.
Officials have said in many cases that the departments of electrical and water supply are reluctant to cut off connections since they include essential services. For example, 141 hospitals have been declared’ unsafe’ but, unless they are vacated, the civic body can not disconnect power and water supply. FIR was recommended for violations in 120 cases but also the cops are reluctant to go ahead.

On August 3, 2018, TOI had stressed that between April 2017 and March 2018, 782 structures out of 1,759 were marked’ unsafe.’ On September 12, 2018, Bombay high court’s Nagpur bench had taken report’s sou motu cognizance and initiated proceedings. In such cases, NMC officials can move the court over inaction from the police.

At the same time, 367 property owners finalized compliance among the 4,433. Of the 994, only 97 have fixed the deviations and taken fire safety measures. The department also brought under its crackdown the old structures as large numbers of people visit those places.

Against the backdrop of the 367 compliances, the jump to 1,482 in unsafe numbers indicates breaches are rampant, while detection has gained too much pace following an HC rap.

Officials said the data gives about 3,300 structures a status of contraventions and a fire and safety audit. The statistics are as they were on January 20, 2020, though inspection by the department is continuing. Officials said around 100 structures are added to the violator list every month. The department has also identified 1,414 structures for which inspection is still to be carried out. The last five years of checks are continuing.


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