The city corporation has directed engineering wing to issue directives to buildings in the city which were recently inspected by fire and rescue services department and were found to have violated fire safety norms.
The move follows a communication from department of fire and rescue services based on an inspection done in 142 buildings in the city in March which include mostly apartments, auditoriums, hospitals and commercial buildings.
The engineering wing has also been asked to explore ways to ensure fire fighting system in all buildings in the city on a periodic basis after occupancy certificate is issued.
A by-law has also been mooted to execute strict compliance with fire safety norms in buildings in the city with approval of corporation council. Conduct of fire safety audit has also been directed for the buildings owned by corporation, including the main office.
The district fire officer has sent a letter to secretary of city corporation citing violation of fire safety norms in numerous buildings in the city mostly high-rises.
The official has pointed out that although warnings had been issued to these buildings, the persons concerned have not rectified the defects.
The fire and rescue services department has sought immediate intervention in the matter and has pointed out that a large group of inhabitants reside in many buildings where violations were detected and in case of fire outbreak, it would result in a huge disaster.
The fire safety department has mainly checked on aspects of fire NOC, obstruction to access to buildings, maintenance of fire safety system, presence of signages and condition of extinguishers, sprinklers and pumps.
As per the list furnished to city corporation by fire and rescue services department, a large number of buildings in the city had failed to renew fire NOC.
In some cases even the details regarding NOC were not available and these buildings include shopping complexes marked by constant presence of heavy crowd.
The officials found out during the inspection that although fire safety system was present in many buildings, most of the owners did not maintain extinguishers and sprinklers.
The fire tank of a prominent shopping centre in the city was found to be empty and officials say that in case of a fire outbreak, many of the buildings can’t rely on in-house fire fighting techniques and will have to wait until fire tenders from nearby stations arrive at the scene.
Violations of serious nature were found even in auditoriums which fill people to the capacity of 850 during various events.
The city corporation is also in a dilemma over action to be taken in cases where alterations have been made in buildings which is at variance with the original plan.
The provisions in Kerala Municipality Act do not mention about cancellation of occupancy certificate in case of altering a structure which could compromise fire safety.
Besides, the portion which has been altered would be marked alone as unauthorized and provisions for violations cannot be applied for the entire building, the officials pointed out.