Chennai

Planners focus on fire safety in illegal buildings

Even as hundreds of residents are waiting for a decision on new guidelines and rules for regularisation of unauthorised buildings constructed on or before July 1, 2007, urban planners have started focusing on ‘structural stability’ and ‘fire safety.’

Once the recommendation on new guidelines and rules are made, Chennai Corporation officials, planning agencies and other local bodies will resume processing applications for regularisation of unauthorised constructions. 

With a committee headed by Justice S. Rajeswaran likely to make recommendations in a few weeks, urban planning officials are busy identifying aspects of structural stability and fire safety of unauthorised buildings in the event of an earthquake or any other major disaster.

“Chennai is on seismic zone III. We are planning to frame rules and guidelines to use advanced technology for assessing the structural stability and fire safety. Any violation will not be condoned,” said an official.

The committee is expected to finalise rules and guidelines shortly to implement Section 113-C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.

Chennai Corporation officials and other urban planning agencies have stopped accepting applications for regularisation of unauthorised buildings after the High Court quashed the earlier guidelines of the government issued under Section 113-C in February.

The new guidelines are intended to facilitate a detailed assessment of the impact of violations on structural stability and fire safety before offering exemption.

The guidelines will cover any building or class of building developed on or before July 1, 2007, and deviated from provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act 1971. 

The previous guidelines were restricted to three provisions — Floor Space Index, setback requirements and road width of the Act.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 6:55:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/planners-focus-on-fire-safety-in-illegal-buildings/article6695308.ece

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