Nagpur: Nagpur Residential Hotels Association’s (NRHA) delegation led by its President Tejinder Singh Renu met Manisha Patankar-Mhaisekar – Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra and held discussion in detail over implementation of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 in old hotel buildings and also submitted memorandum in writing.
Tejinder Singh Renu submitted before Principal Secretary that as per factual position, before 1990 no Fire NOC was asked for by NIT or NMC for building plans being submitted irrespective of any height of the building proposed, hence no building then has extra fire escape staircase. Thereafter from 1991 – only buildings proposed of 15 meters height or above were asked to submit plans to Fire Department of NMC and they use to issue Fire safety requirements as prepared by someone then having no base as such. However since 2009 onwards Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 got enacted demanding minimum requirements in its Schedule I.
Renu said, admittedly Nagpur city has Hotels constructed and in service since 1960 onwards and majority of them constructed before 1990. And through RTI NRHA obtained clarification from Law & Judiciary Department, Government of Maharashtra whereby it was made clear that this Fire Act is to be enforced prospectively and not retrospectively.
Renu further assured that we hoteliers are not against Fire Safety, but due to such illogical policies, the hotel and similar industries are being pressurized by the Fire Officials, mostly when some complainant is filed for some vendetta or mala-fide intentions against any establishment. We want to make our building safe and majority of us have already installed possible fire safety gazettes and extinguishers. Hotel building is our own property, we too are worried of its safety, which directly saves us; however to avoid complications we have forwarded these issues for kind consideration.
Renu said, it is impossible for old buildings to follow all requirements of Schedule I of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. Moreover Administration cannot miss established principle of DCR 3.2.5 – Nothing in these Regulations shall require the removal, alteration or abandonment or prevent the continuance of the lawfully established use or occupancy of an existing building or its use.
NRHA specifically requested Principal Secretary that a circular should be issued by Government of Maharashtra that Fire Act is applicable to all buildings; however Fire Safety installments are to be carried as per provisions of respective DCR when this building was sanctioned and not as per new Fire Act. Although we admit that Hotels constructed after 2009 should follow Schedule I of the Fire Act.
UDD Principal Secretary Manisha Patankar-Mhaisekar admitted that the demand of NRHA is quite logical and clarification in this respect is surely required. She suggested that NRHA should meet Municipal Commissioner Virendra Singh and convince him about this anomaly whereby NMC can send their view to UDD and accordingly we’ll issue appropriate directions.
Also present in the NRHA delegation were Prakash Trivedi – IPP, Deepak Khurana – Secretary, Vinod Joshi – Treasurer, Nitin Trivedi – Joint Secretary and Executive Body Members Govind Mudliar and Rishi Tuli.