CMDA files affidavit before Madras HC on fire safety measures

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Chennai, Oct 21: The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has submitted before the Madras High Court that all multi-storeyed buildings should compulsorily have fire safety measures as contemplated under the rules, and without them the buildings should not be allowed to be used.

CMDA Member-Secretary Vikram Kapur, in his affidavit yesterday before the First Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, suggested that the Director of Fire and Rescue Services inspect all multi-storeyed buildings periodically.

The affidavit was filed in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by social activist Ramasamy, seeking a direction to the authorities to enquire into the cause of the fire at Saravana Stores and punish the delinquents.

Passing an interim order on the petition, the court had earlier directed the CMDA to file its affidavit, suggesting ways and means of taking preventive measures.

The affidavit, filed by CMDA counsel C Kathiravan, said wherever fire safety measures were not provided, fire service authorities should report to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and the Chennai Corporation for disconnection of electricity supply for cancellation of trade licence and sealing of the premises. Each commercial establishment should have a separate entry and exit through an emergency staircase.

Encroachments, in the form of hawkers, hoardings, banners and name boards or any other unauthorised projection on the road, should be removed to facilitate free movement of fire service tenders.

Workers should not be allowed to stay beyond working hours on commercial premises, the affidavit said.

The Bench recorded the affidavit and directed the Registry to post the matter after two weeks for further hearing.


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