THE FIRE department has completed the fire audit in the city and found that more than 300 buildings in the city are without fire safety arrangements, putting lives of hundreds of people at risk. The department is likely to submit its audit report on Monday.
Most of the coaching centres are located in Phase 3B2 and Phase VII. The fire department officials say that some of the coaching centres are located in small cabins with a capacity of 15 to 20 students. Most of the coaching centres hold IELTS coaching classes where head phones are used. “In these coaching centres there is always a risk of short circuit as head phones and equipment for speaking and listening are used,” a fire department officer said.
According to sources, during the audit, the fire department carried out checking in the buildings where the coaching institutes are being run and found that the buildings do not have exit points. The inspecting teams also found that the staircases in these institutes are also very narrow and in case of any emergency, it would be difficult to come out of the building.
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, sub-fire officer Mohan Lal Verma said that they issued notices to owners of 60 buildings where the coaching institutes are being run. They have also sent a report to the Punjab Chief Fire Office to take action against such buildings. Asked what action could be taken against the buildings where there are no fire safety arrangements, Verma said that the buildings could be sealed by the administration.
He added that they had already issued notices to 173 showroom owners where the fire safety norms were violated and owners of 131 industrial units too were issued the notices.
Replying to a question about the fire safety arrangements in government department buildings, Verma said that they issued notices to Civil Hospital in Phase VI and Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) building where the fire safety arrangements were not in place.
When pointed out that the department had issued notices to a number of building owners for violating the safety norms in the past as well but no action was taken against them, Verma said that they could only issue notices and it is the administration which has to take action. “We have specially mentioned it in our report that action must be taken against the erring building owners. The administration must snap the water and power connections of such buildings. They are putting lives of people in danger,” Verma said.
Former Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra had ordered a fire audit last month after a fire incident in a Surat coaching centre claimed 22 lives on May 24 this year.