Poor progress in fire audit of high-rise buildings

Fire safety norms in nearly 20,000 high-rises in the city leaves a lot to be desired, even as the safety issues in government high-rise buildings came under the Lokayukta scanner on Tuesday.

Over six months after the deadline for the fire audit of all high-rise buildings expired, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has completed the process only on 1,667 buildings, as against an estimated 20,000 high-rises in the city.

The department has even failed to identify the number of such buildings in the city.

The department has issued no-objection certificates to 2,625 high-rise buildings and clearance certificates only to 890 buildings.

A senior fire official said repeated correspondence with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike had failed to yield credible data of the illegal high-rise buildings.

The High Court of Karnataka had directed the State government to carry out fire audits of all high-rise buildings following the Carlton Towers tragedy.

The government vested powers with the fire department to inspect these buildings in 2011 and set April 2012 as the deadline to complete fire audits.

The deadline was extended to December 2013, which was not met.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Fire and Emergency Services, M. Chandrashekar said the Regional Fire Officers and District Fire Officers were now undertaking a field survey, identifying high-rises and conducting a fire audit, which was time consuming. Fire audit of a building takes at least three months, he said.

Also hindering the progress was acute shortage of human resources that plagued the department. A proposal to form a squad of retired fire officials to carry out fire audit was being considered, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:29:29 AM |

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