BMC wants more floors added to its schools, hospitals

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BMC wants more floors added to its schools, hospitals
BMC has proposed to redevelop/improve/expand seven of its hospitals, including Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation wants to add more floors to civic-run hospitals and schools to accommodate growing number number of patients and students respectively. The BMC has proposed to the state government to increase stipulated heights of such buildings by 50 per cent.

What does BMC want?
According to the national building code (NBC) and Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, height of city hospitals and educational institutes is stipulated up to 30 metres. The BMC has proposed the government to increase the same up to 45 metres for both government and private structures.

Can it tackle fires at such buildings?
The civic body's proposal comes in the wake up of its strengthened capacity to deal with fire incidents, civic authorities said. "In fact, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte himself had issued a letter in this connection to former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. But the government sat on it, may be in view of the general and assembly polls held this year. The matter has been taken up before Devendra Fadnavis government now," said a senior civic official, requesting not to be named.

Which hospitals may see added floors?
According to the official, the BMC has proposed to redevelop/improve/expand seven of its hospitals including Bhagwati (in Borivli) and Govandi Shatabdi hospitals, plus a structure affiliating state-run JJ hospital. But the civic body is not in a position to use FSI given the norms stipulating heights as per existing norms. "If the government does so, we will be able to undertake the works and serve better," the official said.

What does civic chief say?
Kunte confirmed that they had approached the government over amending NBC and Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 to allow hospitals and colleges expand upwards. "Yes, we have proposed the idea before the new government and awaiting its response," Kunte added.

Despite repeated attempts, Fadnavis remained unavailable for comment.

Keeping'em safe from fire
While the BMC proposal talks of raising height of hospital and college buildings up to 45 metres, its fire brigade is equipped to handle rescue works up to a height of 60 metres. Fire officials have suggested that such structures should have separate staircase from outside to rescue people in view of untoward incident, installing fire fighting system on a floor which is not in use. It has also recommended heights of the building should not exceed 60 metres. It wants floors beyond 30 metres to be used as rest rooms for doctors and other hospital staff, and for administrative work, etc.

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