‘Key safety norms may have been ignored’

In the case of the most highrises in Mumbai,developers provide for them only in passages.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:December 15, 2013 1:42 am

The Kemps Corner fire tragedy has exposed the lack of fire safety in highrises in the city. While the civic body’s factual report to the state government has indicated that fire safety equipment inside the building was functional,a senior fire official pointed out that norms concerning the width of the approach road,open space and emergency exit arrangements may have been ignored at Mont Blanc.

A senior state official said norms require buildings to have sprinkler systems inside individual apartments,which were not there at Mont Blanc. “In the case of the most highrises in Mumbai,developers provide for them only in passages,” the official said.

According to data from the Mumbai Fire Brigade,roughly 285 highrises in the island city have been served notices for failing to comply with fire safety norms since January. Similarly,659 highrises in the suburbs have been served notices.

As per the Development Control Regulations (DCR),a building with a height of 24 m (eight floors) and above is classified as a highrise,said officials. Besides inadequate internal firefighting systems,highrise buildings have been served notices for lack of open space on all four sides.

Further,according DCR,a major violation is the absence of two staircases for buildings over 70 m tall and buildings where horizontal travelling distance is more than 22 m. Mont Blanc,which is 78 m tall,did not have a second staircase. “Commercial highrises adhere to the norm but most residential towers don’t,” said an official.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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