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Monday, April 06, 2020

GST Bhavan fire: Cannot inspect govt buildings, says Fire Brigade

“For government buildings, the fire safety Act does not apply. There is no provision to give fire safety certificates to such buildings,” Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale said before the BMC’s standing committee.

| Mumbai | Updated: February 19, 2020 3:28:24 am
GST Bhavan fire, Goods and Services Tax, Mumbai fire, mumbai news, maharashtra news, indian express news 20 fire engines and 19 water tankers were pressed in as fire broke out at the GST Bhavan in Mazgaon area Monday. (File photo)

Amid allegations of fire safety violations and whether GST Bhavan, where a major fire broke out a day earlier, had a fire no objection certificate, the Mumbai Fire Brigade Tuesday said it cannot inspect government buildings and that the fire safety Act does not apply to government buildings.

“For government buildings, the fire safety Act does not apply. There is no provision to give fire safety certificates to such buildings,” Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale said before the BMC’s standing committee. He said government buildings do not fall under the ambit of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measure Act, 2006.

On Tuesday, corporators alleged the top floor of GST Bhavan was illegal. Earlier, Opposition leader Ravi Raja demanded a detailed inquiry into the fire. Rahangdale said the investigation report will reveal whether the portion was illegal. “The report will be submitted in two days,” he said. “Considering Mumbai’s population, the city needs about 70 fire stations. Currently we only have 35. We have inspected over 4,000 buildings and filed prosecution against 53 for fire safety violations,” he said.

Can’t inspect each building: BMC

The BMC has said it was practically not possible to inspect every building for fire safety compliance. “Mumbai has lakhs of buildings but taking into account infrastructure of fire brigade… There are 20-25 conditions for granting NOC and it’s not possible to inspect each and every building,” said P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner.

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