Govt. bans cooking, kitchens on rooftops and basements

Amends ‘Unified Building Bye-Laws for Delhi 2016’; notifies new fire safety rules

May 28, 2019 07:35 am | Updated 07:35 am IST - New Delhi

A view of Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh where a fire broke out in February claiming 17 lives.

A view of Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh where a fire broke out in February claiming 17 lives.

Banning of kitchens and cooking in rooftops and basements of commercial buildings are among some of the measures taken by the Delhi government on Monday, in wake of the Surat fire tragedy that killed 22 students.

The Delhi government on Monday amended the “Unified Building Bye-Laws (UBBL) for Delhi 2016” for commercial buildings to include the changes.

“No kitchen will be allowed on rooftops or basements. No cooking activity of any kind will be permitted on rooftop or basement,” the amendment read. Storage of inflammable materials will not be allowed on rooftops.

Inflammable materials

“No temporary roofing over the roof or terrace using fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) or any inflammable material will be allowed,” read another point in the amendment. The amendment also banned use of inflammable materials such as wooden panels, foam panels and carpets in passages, corridors or staircases.

“In Arpit Hotel fire tragedy [February 2019 that killed 17 people], the staircase was carpeted that led to generating more smoke. As a result, one could not even use the exit routes,” said Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain.

Also, fire NOC for guest houses will not be issued to buildings, which have more than four floors (excluding basement and stilt floor), as per the amendment.

“In many places in Delhi, after giving money to municipal corporation, people have built six floors. But according to the rules, more than four floors are not allowed,” the Minister said.

The amendment also made it mandatory to have carbon monoxide detectors in all rooms and also natural or mechanical arrangements for smoke ventilation in all corridors and passages at each level and staircases.

The Minister said that when a building catches fire, most of the people die due to carbon monoxide suffocation than burns.

Also, there should be doors with fire-resistance rating of at least one hour at the entrance of staircases of each floor if there are more than 10 people living on the floor, according to the amendment.

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