HC asks Nagpur Municipal Corporation to act against buildings without fire equipment
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has asked Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to take action against over 2,358 high-rise buildings that are without mandatory fire safety equipment. A division bench of justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Upadhye on Wednesday directed the corporation to complete formalities within eight weeks.
The court was hearing a suo motu PIL on media report highlighting 2,358 high-rise buildings in the city, which failed to obtain certificates from the city’s fire department even after over two and half decades. The report quoted NMC Fire Department’s records revealing that in 1989, only three buildings were granted occupancy certificates out of 70. Remaining 67 builders neither applied for nor obtained it, thus making a complete mockery of rules.
The report stated that between 1990 and 2014, only 432 of 2,790 structures were found to have installed fire safety equipment and were granted occupancy certificates. Other builders are hesitant to apply for occupancy certificate, as they failed to install the required fire safety equipment.
The report stated that thousands of citizens living in these ‘unsafe’ buildings faced a grave risk to their lives in case of a big fire. The court had appointed Prashant Shende as amicus curiae who informed that builders were mandated to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from Fire Department before construction could begin. It prescribes necessary fire safety measures to be taken while constructing the structure. Once the construction is completed, the department inspects the building and certifies presence of all necessary systems after which occupancy certificate is issued.