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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Civic body to approach PWD for regular electrical audit of buildings

The BMC on Wednesday said that about 70% of fire incidents have been reported due to short circuits and currently there is no law, which mandates electrical audit of the buildings.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 28, 2021 6:29:05 am
short circuit, electrical fault, electricity, fire hazard, fire accident, fire, Mumbai, BMCThe civic body on Wednesday said they are going to write to the Public Work Department (PWD)’s Electrical Division to develop a mechanism about regulating housing societies to conduct electrical audits. (Representational: ANI File Photo)

Taking note of electrical short circuits as one of the major reasons behind the fire in buildings, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to write to the Public Works Department (PWD) for creating a mechanism for regular electrical audits of the buildings.

The BMC on Wednesday said that about 70% of fire incidents have been reported due to short circuits and currently there is no law, which mandates electrical audit of the buildings as the Maharashtra Fire Act only has only the provision of fire audit of the buildings.

The civic body on Wednesday said they are going to write to the Public Work Department (PWD)’s Electrical Division to develop a mechanism about regulating housing societies to conduct electrical audits.

“There is no mechanism for housing societies to conduct electrical audits. We are in communication with the state government to develop a regulatory mechanism for the same. We are also reviewing fire safety in hospitals and the malls of the city,” said Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner of the BMC before the Standing Committee on Wednesday.

Mumbai Fire Brigade officials said that in case of fire at One Avighna Park at Currey Road area, the fire started at a video doorbell due to short-circuit and later spread to other things.

It is to be noted that in high-rise buildings, the fire brigade conducts regular fire drills and inspections to ensure that fire safety norms are followed.

According to the data from BMC, in the last 20 months 1,526 buildings, including 52 high-rises were inspected of which notices were issued to 327 buildings for non-compliance with fire safety norms. While 78 had compliance, 109 are under compliance. So far three buildings have been prosecuted for non-compliance with fire safety.

Meanwhile, a proposal of Rs 3.15 crore for the procurement of 24 fire bikes for the city was cleared in the meeting.  However, corporators across the parties asked the BMC administration to ensure that firefighting equipment is efficiently used.

“The standing committee should be informed on how these bikes will be used, where they will be parked followed by how many litres of water will be stored in it?” Ravi Raja, leader of opposition in BMC and a Congress corporator said.

Another corporator, Rais Shaikh, from Samajwadi Party pointed out that other modern equipment procured are not much used.   “Earlier, we brought robots and drones but we all know how much use they have been, We are not against modernisation but there should be an efficient use of the resources,” Shaikh said.

Bhide said that the upgradation of the department is in process and it is most technologically equipped. “We have 35 fire stations and 18 mini fire stations, and we are in the process of having more mini fire stations,” she said.

Meanwhile, BJP alleged that a cartel of contractors is duping the civic body in selling of scrap materials. The allegations came during the discussion over a proposal to sell scrap worth Rs 2 crore of the Mumbai Fire Brigade vehicles. BJP also got support from Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party.

Following the opposition, the standing committee put the proposal of selling fire vehicles in scrap on hold and now can be brought to the BMC standing committee after three months.

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