Coimbatore: A tragedy similar to the massive fire incident in Chennai Silks is waiting to happen in Coimbatore as several commercial buildings here are functioning in violation of fire safety norms. Fire safety officials issued notices to around 2,000 educational and commercial buildings including a popular textile showroom a few years ago, but most of them are yet to fall in line.
"In 2008 we had sent a notice to nearly 2, 000 buildings that includes educational institutes and commercial buildings," said P. Annadurai, station fire officer. Following the fire incident in 2013, in which four people were charred to death on April 25 in a massive fire breakout that occurred in the multistoried building at Lakshmi Mills Junction, the fire safety and rescue services department, along with the then district collector, had issued a warning notice to several educational and industrial buildings in the city which were considered built violating the fire safety norms.
"There are many buildings which only have permission to construct just two storied but they have ignored the norms and have built four and five storey buildings. We rectify safety measures need to be added in those buildings whether they are available or not." he added.
In 2016, as many as 18 commercial buildings in Coimbatore had applied for the fire safety certificate, of which, except two, all were given green signal by the fire safety department. The inspections on the buildings were done on the basis of the applications issued by the local planning authority. Yet, there is a no systematic way to keep a regular check on old and new buildings coming up in the city.