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Fire department to prosecute 27 establishments

Friday, March 09, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

The Mumbai Fire Brigade has inspected over 4,000 establishments, including malls and shopping complexes, and has launched prosecution against 27 establishments for their failure to conduct a fire safety audit under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act 2006.

The Department has also released a fresh list of 622 licenced agencies from whom the concerned establishments can get the fire safety audit done. The list includes a host of contractors from different parts of Mumbai and also different parts of Maharashtra. Next to Mumbai, the maximum licenced contractors are from Pune (134), followed by Navi Mumbai (49) and Thane (39).

In fact, the Fire Brigade has already given an ultimatum to high rise apartments, starred hotels and assembly buildings like cinema halls, commercial buildings, malls, shopping centers, regarding mandatory adherence to fire safety norms. The Fire Brigade has classified a few categories of buildings as 'High Risk' and implementation of fire safety norms for these buildings is being monitored very rigorously. Among residential buildings, apartments with a height of more than 45 metres (roughly 12 floors) is considered as 'High Risk'. The penalty for non-adherence to fire safety norms ranges from six months to three years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 50,000.

Speaking to The Afternoon D&C, Chief Fire Officer P. Rahangdale said that notices have already been served under the Maharashtra Municipalities Act to violators and stringent action would be taken against the owner/occupants of such buildings. However, some of the violators have moved the court. “Our drive will now go on and we intend to carry out inspection even till late evening. Earlier it was restricted from 10.30 am and 5.30 pm,” said the officer.

As part of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measure Act, 2006, there are several fire safety measures required to be undertaken depending upon the height of the building. There are also minimum requirements which are designated on water storage and pump capacity. Once the mandatory safety compliances are in place, the management committee of any society has to connect with licenced vendors for conducting the audits in their respective apartment complexes.

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