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767 buildings face punitive flame

Comments Off on 767 buildings face punitive flame   |   February 22, 2014    11:49am   |Contributed by manoja

AHMEDABAD: Residents of 767 buildings face the prospect of their homes being sealed if they fail to install fire-safety features and equipment in their buildings by March 2.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Tuesday filed a status report in the Gujarat high court in response to a PIL demanding the implementation of the court’s earlier directions on the enforcement of building bylaws relating to fire safety. The petition was moved by Prakash Nambiar through his advocate, Amit Panchal.

The AMC told the court that 767 buildings in the city, mostly residential, do not comply with fire-safety norms and that only 40-odd buildings have shown compliance.

The status report further stated that the AMC had issued final notices to each of these buildings and after the expiry of the deadline, strict punitive action would be taken. The last of such notices was sent on February 15. The AMC has also issued public notices though newspaper advertisements. The corporation has asked the buildings to comply with the norms within 15 days of receiving the notice. The court has scheduled the next hearing on the matter on March 3.

The status report said that the final notice was issued under section 268 of the Bombay Provincial Corporation Act. The section is clear that if the owners fail to comply with the directions of the notice the building can be sealed by the corporation.

Threat of contempt

Rewati Towers, Shanker Chambers, Takshashila Blocks A/B, E/F, C/D and G/H face contempt proceeding for non-compliance of court orders. In its interim order on January 28, 2014, the high court had stated: “It …appears from the report that four other buildings…though were made parties to the earlier proceedings, have not yet complied with the requirement and, at the same time, Takshashila has not offered inspection. Such being the position, we issue notice upon the owners and occupiers of those four buildings as to why they should not be penalized for non-compliance of their undertaking given earlier before this Court. Rule returnable four weeks.”The state government had in January issued a notification stating that the new, stringent Fire Safety Act would be implemented from March, two months after considering objections from people.


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