17 high-risk structures pose grave threat

Hyderabad: The city has 774 commercial structures are not fire safety compliant but anyway house 1,923 shops. A multidisciplinary team, comprising officials from police, revenue, State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and GHMC Disaster Response Force (DRF), has identified these vulnerable structures after a pilot survey.

The survey was conducted only on a single stretch across all six zones to identify commercial structures that do not adhere to fire safety norms.

Paradise Hotel and Tristar Hotel in Secunderabad apart from other 15 structures across Hyderabad are notified as high-risk structures as they pose grave threat to residents in the neighbourhood.

The multi-disciplinary team has shortlisted one stretch in each of six zones, including Secunderabad, Khairatabad, Charminar, LB Nagar, Serilingampally and Kukatpally.

Teams have found out that 774 structures (below five floors) with 1,923 shops did not install fire safety equipment, while there were 124 structures that are above five floors. They had identified 17 structures that were potential threats and one of them was Swapnalok complex, which claimed five lives, in the absence of fire safety equipment.

Fire department DG Y. Nagi Reddy, who visited the spot, was briefed by officials about the incident. “On receiving the call, we immediately reached the spot and rescued 12 persons. However, during further search operations, we realized that six persons were still in a room and they were all unconscious. They were shifted to the hospital, where they died,” Nagi Reddy said.

Though there was fire safety equipment in place, it was not operational.

“The building set back was good and thus our personnel were able to bring in the vehicle and fight the fire,” the DG said.

It can be recalled that the fire department personnel had recently convened a meeting with regard to the importance of abiding by fire safety norms by all establishments. “Our officials had recently inspected the complex and warned them to set up fire systems, but they did not act in time,” the DG added.

However, a senior team member, requesting anonymity, told Deccan Chronicle that notices were served to the property owners to install fire safety equipment within 15 days and in the meantime, the accident happened. Once the time given to them expires in the next three days, GHMC will seize the properties as they pose a grave threat.

The official said as per the standard instructions, each shop or establishment should install extinguishers per the ruling-for every 100 square meters six-kg powder fire extinguisher and 4.5 kg Co2 fire extinguisher, oil storages like petrol bunks and oil shops should install two foam fire extinguishers per 100 square meters and each shop or establishment should install two smoke detectors per 100 square meters. He said that authorities will seize properties that violate norms and they will face legal action. He said that a comprehensive survey will be conducted soon to check the fire safety of each structure and shop.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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