Deepa H Ramakrishnan
For not taking safety measures to prevent fire
CHENNAI: The Directorate of Fire and Rescue Services has issued showcause notices for 57,000 buildings, including industries and multi-storeyed buildings in the State asking them to cite reasons for not taking necessary safety measures , said its director K.R. Shyam Sundar.
He was speaking to The Hindu after the inauguration of a fire station at Tiruvottiyur here on Saturday. He said that following the fire at a store at T. Nagar last year, the number of No-Objection Certificates issued by the directorate had increased from 1,200 to 1,600.
“By March, we hope to issue 57,000 NOCs after they have confirmed to safety regulations,” Mr. Sundar said.
A meeting of associations representing 5.5 lakh small and tiny industries was held recently. Member industries had been advised to install atleast one fire extinguisher on their premises.
“We told them that it was not possible to inspect all of them and they agreed to that,” he added.
All licensing authorities, including the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, local bodies and Collectors, had been asked not to issue licences to buildings until they obtained the NOCs from the DFRS.
“Every month, we are following up the number of applications and licences being issued. We also see to it that fire licences are renewed every year,” he said.
On safety aspects pertaining to large gatherings, he said that they were under the process of amending the Fire Services Act (FSA). The DFRS had requested that the corresponding rules in 17 other Acts related to the FSA be amended.
“We have defined what a temporary structure is. Anybody having massive pandals and two stages must get an NOC and a fire licence,” he added.
GPRS facility would be installed in 75 fire tenders in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts by the third week of March. “Tenders have been floated for the instruments. This is to ensure that the vehicles reach faster,” he said.
Mr. Sundar said that the DFRS had received Rs. 26 crore and an additional Rs. 5 crore for upgrading equipment. “We plan to purchase power saws, generators, emergency lamps, giant ladders, a vehicle equipped to handle hazardous materials and 14 emergency rescue vehicles.”
‘Long pending demand’
Fisheries Minister K.P.P. Sami, who earlier inaugurated north Chennai’s 13th fire station inside a cyclone shelter on Ennore Express Highway, said that last year there were 21 fire accidents in the area. A fire station in Tiruvottiyur had been a long pending demand of the people, which had been fulfilled , he added.
The Minister also said that development works including the Rs.84-crore water supply scheme, Rs. 55-crore Ennore Manali Road Infrastructure Project connecting Chennai and Ennore ports, expansion of Tiruvottiyur High Road and drainage scheme were being implemented in the area.
Deputy Director, North Division, R.K. Jayakanthan, and Divisional Fire Officer, North Chennai Region, T.N. Velayudhan Nair, also spoke.