CMDA's counter affidavit to petitions filed by shop-owners

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has submitted before the High Court that in many multi-storeyed buildings in T. Nagar, which had been sealed, fire safety measures were not adequate, because no fire-fighting installations have been provided and there is no setback space round the buildings for movement of fire-fighting vehicles/high-rise building ladder unit.

The authority's Member-Secretary, R. Venkatesan, said this in a counter affidavit to petitions filed by shop-owners of T. Nagar. He said that as per the instructions of the monitoring committee, the Fire and Rescue Services Department conducted an inspection in respect of commercial buildings on Ranganathan Street and Usman Road.

It had said there was a potential fire risk in the area as the narrow roads and heavy traffic lead to lack of approach and access to vulnerable spot thereby affecting timely response. Building violations in the form of lack of setback area affected movement of fire-fighting vehicles. The other violations in the form of additional floors thereby increasing the fire load, lack of escape staircases and exits which posed a serious threat for effective evacuation in times of emergency were the major problems faced by fire service. Some of the buildings had high voltage transformers in close proximity to the premises which increased the fire risk.

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