Sending out a strong message to occupants of multi-storied buildings in the city, a bench of the Gujarat high court, on Wednesday, has taken serious note of lack of fire safety in high-rise buildings.
In an order passed on Wednesday, it asked occupants of two prominent high-rise building in city, to install fire safety equipment on their premises within three weeks in the interest of public safety. These two buildings — Satellite’s Revati Tower, which has eight blocks and Pallavi Tower with two blocks and located near Memnagar fire station.
The bench will take further decision on the remaining 23 buildings on February 1.
The bench comprising chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and justice JB Pardiwala acted after considering fire department’s submissions that there are 25 buildings in the city which have never installed any fire safety equipment nor got building use (BU) permission from the civic body since the time of its construction.
Out of 25 such buildings, counsels for Revati tower and Pallavi tower of Amol Citadel housing society, appeared before the court on Wednesday and agreed to install fire safety equipment in their societies, respectively.
While passing the order, the bench said, “The Chief Fire Officer of the AMC will visit both the buildings after three weeks for the purpose of checking whether direction given by us against them is complied with or not.”
With regard to installation of fire safety equipment, AMC’s fire department has prepared a list of 1,281 high rise buildings in the city, of which, 717 high rise buildings do not fire safety equipment in working condition. 270 buildings have already taken No Objection Certificate (NOC) by installing equipment, while application moved by 269 buildings to get NOC is under process in the fire department.
A resident, Prakash Nambiar, moved a plea in 2009 seeking installation of fire safety equipment in the multi-storied buildings as per the order of the Gujarat high court delivered in 2000. Nambiar’s counsel, Amit Panchal submitted before the court that, “The building occupants have not complied with the HC direction even after it was confirmed on three occasions by the Supreme Court.”
He further submitted that, “Such safety equipment is necessary in public safety and public interest. The occupants of such buildings have even not complied with the order.”