After it was found that the Lotus Business Park in Andheri (West), where a massive fire gutted its three floors on July 18, had flouted fire safety norms, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) has decided to prepare a ward-wise list of high-rises that are yet to submit fitness certificates of the firefighting system installed in their buildings.
Around 3.8 lakh structures will be inspected by 99 officers of the Fire Safety Cell of the brigade. The fire brigade will soon set up the cell, where the basic responsibility of the team will be to conduct a periodic review of the fire-fighting system in buildings.
“Despite 457 licensed authorities being enlisted, even one per cent of the structures in the city don’t adhere to the norms. We will, therefore, create a ward-wise list and assign it to the officers. We will depute officers on the basis of the number of structures in a ward,” said Shashikant Kale, deputy chief fire officer at the MFB.
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As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, it is mandatory for all buildings with more than six floors (24 metres) to obtain a fire-safety audit done by an agency licensed by the Maharashtra Fire Services. The owners are supposed to submit the report twice a year, in January and July, to the fire brigade authorities.
However, as per the fire brigade’s data, so far only 17 housing societies from the island city, 15 from the eastern suburbs and 13 from the western suburbs have submitted fitness certificates for the fixed fire-fighting system installed in their buildings this year.
Earlier this week, the BMC not only cancelled the Occupation Certificate (OC) given to Lotus Business Park, but also gave the owners an ultimatum of 60 days to replace the defunct fire fighting system in the building that hampered the fire brigade’s rescue operations.