‘Many buildings, schools in Lucknow don’t have fire dept NoC’

The fire that broke out at a commercial complex in Gujarat’s Surat on Friday, claiming lives of 18 teenagers, has set the alarm bells ringing here in Lucknow.

Many of the dead were students at a coaching centre who jumped off the four-storey building or fell to their death while trying to escape. Some also suffocated in the fire that started in the rear portion of the building.

Lucknow has thousands of coaching institutes that run from commercial buildings. Naval Kishore Road, Faizabad Road, Lalbagh, Vikas Nagar and Indira Nagar are considered hubs of coaching institutes.

Most of these buildings where coaching institutes are housed do not have no-objection certificates (NoC) from the fire department, said a fire official.

Chief fire officer VK Singh admitted that the Surat fire incident was a wake-up call for all. “We will run fire safety awareness programmes in commercial buildings where coaching institutes are operational as a large number of students go there to attend classes. It is the duty of the building owners to get NoC from the fire department,” he emphasised.

District inspector of school (DIoS) Mukesh Kumar Singh said many schools in Lucknow did not have NoC from fire department.

“We will ask schools to complete all formalities and install fire safety equipment before the schools reopen after the summer vacation,” he said.

Absence of proper guidelines and negligence of building owners was mentioned as one of the main reasons by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that investigated reasons behind the death of six people in a major fire that broke out at two Charbagh hotels, SSJ International and Virat International, on June 19, 2018.

The SIT had recommended formulation of specific guidelines for construction and running of business installations in the report submitted to the state government.

The ADG said the state government was working on the guidelines and chargesheet had been issued to some officials, whose negligence was found in the Charbagh tragedy.

“The report suggested formulation of guidelines for operation of hotels and other business installations covering all aspects of their functioning. Moreover, particular department and officers should be deputed to give clearance to business installations for allowing their operation after checking all safety norms,” said a senior official of home department.

First Published:
May 25, 2019 11:10 IST

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