Deputy Director of Fire and Rescue Services, western region, R. Balsamy has issued show-cause notices to special buildings and high rise buildings, commercial complexes, industrial units and factory premises which do not have fire safety systems and No Objection Certificates (NOC). The show-cause notices have been issued on the direction of the State Director of Fire and Rescue Services K.R. Shyamsunder. Thousands of buildings have received the notices.
Mr. Balasamy said a list of buildings which had flouted rules had been prepared to prevent and pre-empt the risk of fire accidents and stampede. The buildings were categorised on the basis of the number of persons living in them and the extent of fire or stampede risks involved. The fire department permitted small buildings to manage with portable fire extinguishers provided the premises had enough emergency exit.
Mr. Balasamy said in the case of bigger buildings the department insisted on foolproof fire safety measures such as wider staircases, wet risers and down comers (provision for sourcing water from the ground and terrace respectively) besides yard hydrants for refuelling fire tenders with water to battle fire. The show-cause notices are to ensure a culture of compliance. The fire department officers have been asked to give building owners three months to put in place fire safety measures failing which the authorities should inspect the buildings and write to the respective licensing authorities i.e., Inspector of Factories, Town and Country Planning Department or the Collectors for cancellation of licence for such unsafe zones.
In Coimbatore region, 1,300 notices have been issued in Erode, 2,500 in Salem, more than 5,000 in Coimbatore, 745 in Dindigul, 445 in Krishnagiri, 220 in Dharmapuri and 291 in Namakkal. The showcause notices have had an impact with 30 per cent of the building owners applying for NOC complying with all preconditions. After completing the process, the department would initiate stringent measures against non-compliance, Mr. Balasamy said.