Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

Fire cuts off power to part of SC complex

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Posted: May 1, 2014 3:25 am

Four days after a short circuit led to a fire in the Supreme Court lawyers’ chambers, the part of the court complex is still  without electricity. Concerned that the lack of power supply may affect work, lawyers have decided to write to the Chief Justice of India for intervention.

“There is no power in the entire area since the fire incident on Sunday. While authorities are aware of the incident and the lapses, I will write to the Chief Justice of India to apprise him of the matter,” P H Parekh, president of the Bar Council of the SC, said.

While the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) provides power in bulk to the Supreme Court — a high tension supply of 11,000 volt — it is the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) that is responsible for the internal wiring and supply of electricity within the court premises.

Post the Sunday incident, which damaged the internal wiring at the old lawyers’ chamber, the CPWD has been installing new wiring inside the complex. However, all important documents continue to be in the dark”. “A lot of work is suffering because of no power supply. All important papers of the Central law agency are here,” a lawyer said.

Reached for comment, CPWD officials assured that the power supply would be back on Thursday.  It was in Parekh’s chamber on Sunday afternoon that the smoke was first detected. It took the fire brigade 18 minutes to reach the spot after the first call was made, Parekh said. “Fortunately, it was a minor fire, but it could have been big. People here are not trained to use the fire extinguishers, and many tried to open them with stones at the time of the fire,” Parekh said.

Six fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took them an hour to douse the blaze. Automatic sprinklers in the office also failed to work, though the alarm bell fitted to them had started ringing. Papers, books and wooden furniture spread the fire.

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