Amendment proposes third-party inspection to ensure fire compliance

The draft rules and guidelines, under the Section 113-C amendment of the State Town and Country Planning Act of 1971 to regularise or grant amnesty to unauthorised buildings built before July 1, 2007,

Published: 18th June 2017 01:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2017 05:53 AM   |  A+A-

The front portion of the Chennai Silks building partially collapsed on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported | MARTIN LOUIS

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The draft rules and guidelines, under the Section 113-C amendment of the State Town and Country Planning Act of 1971 to regularise or grant amnesty to unauthorised buildings built before July 1, 2007, have suggested a third-party inspection to ensure multi-storied buildings in the city are fire compliant.
The move comes after the Rajeswaran Committee observed that for periodic observation of multi-storied buildings, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) would require an increase in manpower in the fire department.

Currently, the State fire department has a strength of 7,058 personnel and operates through 315 fire and rescue service stations including two rescue stations located in all 32 districts in Tamil Nadu.
According to data available on the TNFRS website, there is a total of 250 buildings that are non-fire compliant. It is believed by officials that the number of non-fire compliant buildings is likely to be much more.

MG Deivasahayam, member of the Madras High Court-appointed Monitoring Committee for Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, says that involving a third-party consultation to ensure buildings are fire compliant is a welcome step but action has to be taken against all 250 defaulters.
“For the last eight-nine years, the housing department knows which buildings have violated the norms. No action has been taken against them. What is the use of formulating rules when they are not followed,” said the monitoring committee member.

Interestingly, the use of alternate fire safety measures such as automatic smoke ventilation, mechanical ventilation system, water mist technology, very early smoke detection systems, use of fire resistance systems and use of fire resistant materials in construction have also been suggested under the draft rules framed by the government.

The draft rules have also suggested reserving the floor once every 39 metres in multi-storied buildings as a buffer zone for fire safety.
Similarly, the rules also stress the need for multi-level parking in busy commercial areas by identifying government or local body lands.
The multi-level parking complexes could be developed in partnership with Traders Association on BOT basis, according to the draft rules.

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