The fire at Safal Pegasus, in which 12 people got injured, has raised an age old question of implementation of fire safety norms at high rise buildings in the city. Shocking as it may seem, only 15% of high rise buildings in the city have proper functional fire safety system. Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad fire and emergency services (AFES) has stopped commercial use of the building and asked them to set the fire safety system right.
There are 1,245 high rise buildings in Ahmedabad. As per fire and emergency department’s record, only 254 buildings have proper operational fire safety system.
Not just this, the fire department officials say that there are many other buildings like Safal Pegasus which have faulty designs.
MF Dastoor, chief fire officer of AFES, said that the fire safety NOC of Safal Pegasus has been revoked and its commercial use banned. “Once they restore their electrical fittings and fire safety system, a proper inspection will be conducted. Only after this will the NOC be re-issued,” he said.
On the question of why an NOC is given in the first place to buildings with faulty fire safety system, the fire and emergency department of AMC pointed out that the NOC is granted to a new building only after proper inspection.
So there is no question of new high rise buildings not having fire safety system. However, once the building is handed over to individual owners or cooperative housing societies, they fail to maintain the system resulting into problems, the officials maintain.
Meanwhile, the state government has been in the process of forming Fire (Safety and Protection) Act and matter is also sub-judice in Gujarat High Court.