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Delhi HC orders Fire Services to conduct mock drill at Nehru Place

The court passed the order in a suo motu case, initiated on August 13, after a fire broke out in a building at Nehru Place

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 25, 2021 7:56:57 am
File image of the Nehru Place complex. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed Delhi’s Chief Fire Officer to ensure a mock drill is conducted by the local fire station at Nehru Place on a working day for identifying shortcomings and submitting recommendations to a committee constituted by authorities to look into issues at the commercial place.

The court passed the order in a suo motu case, initiated on August 13, after a fire broke out in a building at Nehru Place.

The division bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla further directed the committee, which is headed by the DDA chief engineer, to consider the report to be prepared by Delhi Fire Services. It ordered the authorities to submit the report of the fire officer concerned and action taken report before the court a week before the next date of hearing, which is October 7.

“The respondents shall ensure that the approach/perimeter roads are free from encroachment and are in a good condition so that fire tenders can reach any part of the Nehru Place complex in a short time in the event of an emergency,” said the court.

It said it does not matter if the area was a no-vending zone. “The question over here is that we have to ensure that the building is fire-safe and fire authorities are able to access this building at any time,” it said, adding the obstructions will have to be removed.

The court had warned that it will take “strict action” against Kalkaji police station’s SHO and the executive engineer of South Delhi Municipal Corporation in case the police and municipality fail to ensure that no illegal vending takes place at Nehru Place.

While seeking status reports on the implementation of the no-hawking, no-vending policy at Nehru Place District Commercial Centre, the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh had directed the authorities to disclose the particulars of all such agencies which have been employed for redevelopment work at Nehru Place.

The authorities Tuesday told the court that 95 hawkers are operating under orders of various courts in the area and that they will be provided exact locations at Nehru Place. The local SHO and the licencing officer of SDMC would keep vigil by taking periodical rounds of the area, it was told.

The court was also told that a committee, comprising the officers of DDA, SDMC, Delhi Police, and Delhi Traffic Police, has been set up to look into issues at Nehru Place. The bench was also told that an anti-encroachment drive against illegal hawkers was taking place in the area with the assistance of the police.

The court also issued notice to the Delhi Jal Board after it was informed that the agency was carrying out the work of repairing the existing sewer lines in and around the area.

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