Delhi Secretariat functioned without fire-safety measures for 4 months

However, Delhi fire brigade said on Sunday the Secretariat building is "now fire-compliant".

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With the devastating blaze at the Maharashtra state secretariat raising fire safety concerns afresh, it has emerged Delhi Secretariat functioned without the requisite measures in place for around four months.

However, Delhi fire brigade said on Sunday the Secretariat building is "now fire-compliant".

Officials in the fire department said the laid-down fire safety measures became defunct in the later part of December last year at the Secretariat building after a major pipeline supplying water to the fire fighting system was damaged.

In the absence of the fire fighting system, the fire department withdrew the No-Objection Certificate issued to the building.

The Public Works Department, which maintains the building and its fire fighting system, took four months to restore the system, following which the fire safety NOC was again issued by the Delhi Fire Services in April.

Asked about the absence of the fire fighting mechanism in the building, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, whose office is in the third floor, said authorities were vigilant and that is why the leakage was plugged.

"We have very good (fire safety) measures...How did you get to know about it? Because we are vigilant about it," Dikshit said when asked whether fire safety measures were compromised in the building.

Director of Delhi Fire Services AK Sharma said maintenance of the system took time as some of the equipment had to be procured from a foreign country.

"As on today, the building is fully fire-compliant with all the fire safety measures. The maintenance work by PWD took some time," he told PTI. He said none of the sprinklers and water hydrants became defunct after the main pipe developed leakage.

Five people were killed and a large number of files were destroyed in the blaze in the seven-storey Maharashtra government secretariat building on Wednesday.

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