For too long, the fire department has found its expertise wanting in tackling blazes in high-rise buildings. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now stepping in to do the rescue act.
It has decided to make the installation of a safety floating device in each high-rise building in the city.
The civic body is also toying with the idea of changing development control regulations to make buildings safer.
Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar announced on Tuesday that the BMC will make sure that high-rise building developers in the city are not let off the hook when it comes to abiding by safety norms.
The city’s fire brigade, which can tackle fires only up to a certain height, has as not been able to match steps with the rising skyline.
"The buildings have been getting taller and the fire brigade’s ladder can only reach up to a height of 68m. It is becoming difficult to save lives in emergencies," said Kumar. "So, it is necessary to install a safety floating device in each high-rise building, which can help the fire brigade in rescuing stranded people."
To show that it means business, the BMC had recently suggested an amendment to its development control regulation, to keep a floor vacant after an interval of some floors. "The BMC also invited suggestions and objections to it. It will be implemented soon," assured Kumar.
Giving a thumbs-up to the BMC’s newest plan, fire department officials said it is difficult to fight fire from the outside as the a high wind velocity doesn’t allow a ladder to stay firm on the ground.
There are other limitations as well.
"The safety floating device will work from the inside. Every high-rise building will have to install it on the terrace. It will work with the help of a crane. In case of an emergency, it will be used to reach affected floor from the terrace and rescue stranded people. People can be brought down through it, the BMC commissioner explained.