April 18, 2021 2:49:17 am
In an affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court on Friday by the Urban Development and Urban Housing department concerning fire safety in Gujarat, it was submitted that issuance of fire safety no-objection certificates (NoC) and other regular work such as recruitment to vacant posts in the fire departments has been “hindered” as several personnel have been infected by Covid-19.
Filed through R H Vasava, joint secretary at the urban development department, the affidavit notes that after completing the physical test of candidates for recruitment to 608 vacant posts across fire departments in the state, the written test could not take place “amid sudden surge in Covid cases.” “The chief fire officer of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, regional fire officers of Rajkot & Vadodara and number of other fire personnel in the state were affected by Covid and hence were in home quarantine,” the state government submitted as being one of the reason for slowdown in issuance of NoCs and regular work. Moreover, the surge in Covid cases, fire officers have been assigned additional work related to Covid management like disposal of dead bodies. The affidavit however adds, “…despite many bottlenecks arising due to pandemic of Covid, the state government is sincerely committed and determined for bringing about a satisfactory level of compliance of the provisions of the Fire Act…as early as possible.”
The state government constituted a high-level technical committee on April 7 to look into the requirement of fire NoC for old buildings which are between 15 to 18 metres in height.
According to the affidavit, as part of its fire safety programme, on April 5, 25,000 teachers of AMC-owned schools were trained and on April 3, all district education officers were instructed to ensure all fire safety norms and certificate in all schools.
The department’s affidavit submitted that 1,521 hospitals, 2,599 schools and 16,501 factories and industrial units in the eight municipal corporations were without fire NoC as of April 1. Another 2,450 hospitals, 3,894 schools and 5,693 factories and industrial units in municipalities were without fire NoC as well.
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