This is the precise example of how rule makers turn rule breakers. The civic body in Nagpur which keeps an eagle’s eye over firing fighting arrangements at big establishments does not have one on its own property. A case in point is Town Hall situated in the cluttered locality of Mahal, where NMC’s general body meets.
Fire extinguishers, sand buckets and other equipment to control fire are missing at the hall, which was renovated only a couple of years ago. The capacity of the house was increased from 75 to around 200. Even the sprinkler system, which the fire department advises for private buildings, is missing here.
Fire department sources claim the building does not even have a water connection. In fact, the day before the house was being convened, a fire tender was pressed into service to fill up the overhead water tank, said a source adding. When Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measure Act, 2006, came into force in 2009, fire department started issuing notices to hotels, restaurants, malls, theatres and other commercial offices threatening them with closure. It led to many of them installing fire safety equipment.
Under the Act, if anyone fails to adhere to the fire safety norms, the owner of the building is can be penalized between Rs 30,000 and Rs 1 lakh or could even be given a six-month imprisonment. Sources said, NMC should also follow the norms it enforces for others. Even a small incident at Town Hall could create havoc as the roads approaching the venue are narrow and congested.