Udaipur : As the devastating blaze in Surat has raised fresh concerns , questions have been raised on the poor fire safety measures of high rise buildings that have mushroomed in recent years in Udaipur Smart City. The city of lakes presents a grim picture with hundreds of buildings flouting fire safety norms. Non-installation of fire equipment, congested staircases, narrow entry roads and absence of trained personnel to tackle emergencies are major causes of concern in many multi-storeyed buildings in the busy markets and commercial centers like Durga Nursery Road which also is regarded as the hub of coaching institutes in the city area.
According to sources, the Udaipur Municipal Corporation had some time back, identified 282 buildings that were found to be violating fire safety norms. Notices were issued to them however, the compliance part was taken casually. Of these, 186 buildings fell under the Urban Improvement Trust area and hence those files were sent to UIT for action. Activists claim, shopping complexes, residential towers and multistoreyed commercial centers have grown rapidly in the recent past but no attention had been given to adequately equip fire fighting systems inside them.
Surprise checkings, mock drills held
On Saturday, the officials of the Fire fighting department held surprise checkings of some odd 30 coaching centers and shockingly , most of them were found to be lacking with the mandatory equipments on fire safety. Most of the coaching rooms and classes were situated on the basement, ground and first floor of the buildings which had only single entry and exits. Few centers had fire extinguishers but the machine didn’t have gas, none of the building had a trained personnel efficient to handle fire emergencies. Fire officer Jalaj Ghasiya and his team held mock drills and demos in few coaching centers, hotels and malls. The fire fighters put up mock fires at some places and taught people how to control the flames. The fire officer has also instructed the heads of such coaching centres to make necessary arrangements to comply with the fire safety rules within a week. If they do not adhere to the warning, prosecution action would be taken, the officer said.
” As per norms of the National Building Code 2005, high-rises should have fire extinguishers, hose reel, dry/wet riser, automatic sprinkler system, manually operated electric fire alarm systems, automatic detection and alarm system, underground static water storage tank, terrace tank, and so on, but neither the developers nor the authorities or even the occupants are really concerned on the safety issue ” engineer Anil Mehta told Udaipur Kiran.