Bengaluru

Do we need to caution public about risk in entering K.R. Market: HC

The market complex sees at least 50,000 visitors every day and over 2 lakh visitors during festivals.

The market complex sees at least 50,000 visitors every day and over 2 lakh visitors during festivals.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

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Says BBMP is putting lives of citizens at risk by its failure to rectify fire safety lapses in market complex

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday said it may have to issue a direction to put up a notice board in front of K.R. Market to caution visitors that they are “exposed to risks by entering a market lacking in fire safety measures” if the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) fails to act immediately to rectify lapses pointed out in the fire audit report of 2019.

Castigating the BBMP for its “lacklustre approach” in rectifying serious lapses in fire safety measures in the market complex, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar said that the “BBMP is neither bothered about citizens visiting the market nor those having their businesses inside the market complex.” The bench was hearing PIL petitions complaining about illegally allotted shops in the market blocking fire exits.

The bench made these observations in its order after noticing from the affidavit filed by Joint Commissioner (West), that the BBMP is unable to rectify some of the fire safety measures as there was no response to the tender while pointing out that those evicted from open approach areas around the market are re-occupying the area again and again.

Terming as “lame excuses” the reasons given for the delay in rectifying fire safety lapses, the bench also wondered how the BBMP could completely ignore fire safety aspects of the market complex, which sees at least 50,000 visitors every day and over 2 lakh visitors during festivals.

Building plan

The Joint Commissioner stated that the building plan of the market exists, but at present the plan is “missing”. It was pointed out by the counsel representing some shopkeepers that the plan was produced in court in 2013 in connection with another litigation.

As the Joint Commissioner stated that he had written to the Chief Engineer (Projects) enquiring about the plan but is yet to receive a response, the bench said that when it is obvious that the plan did exist, the Joint Commissioner was not helpless to trace the plan by approaching the Commissioner.

Declining to accept the affidavit filed by the Joint Commissioner, the bench adjourned further hearing till February 5 while directing the BBMP Commissioner to file a report on compliance of fire safety measures.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:43:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/do-we-need-to-caution-public-about-risk-in-entering-kr-market-hc/article30516378.ece

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