The Noida and Greater Noida industrial development authorities have called owners and maintenance in-charges of all residential and commercial towers for a meeting to ensure proper functioning of lifts and fire safety arrangements and the safety of residents. The move follows the fire in a 21-storey building in Powai, Mumbai, in which seven were killed and 25 injured.
The Chairman of the two development authorities, Rama Raman, said that the authorities will announce later that all high-rises will have to ensure safety of its occupants. Prior to that, maintenance authorities — developer or RWAs — will have to declare in writing that all safety measures are being taken. The authorities will also issue fitness certificates to lifts and fire measures. “Whosoever is maintaining the structures, will have to declare in writing that lifts are in order and fire safety measures are being followed in their respective structures,” Raman said.
Concerned officials will conduct random checks, and if they find the features lacking requisite maintenance, they will penalize the operators. Raman said, “In the wake of the Nepal earthquake, we have also planned to rope in a team from the National Disaster Response Force to train students on how to deal with natural disasters,” he added.
Fire department officials said they have sent letters to the state government requesting additional infrastructure and manpower. Fire-fighting arrangements in city skyscrapers are grossly inadequate for countering any potential mishaps. The fire department has nine fire stations the city— Noida Sector 2, Sector 58, Phase II; Greater Noida Phase III (Sector 71), Noida Expressway, Sector 135, Ecotech I, Ecotech III and Knowledge Park. Currently, it has 20 fire tenders but just one hydraulic lift, catering to the entire district of 1,338 sq km and a population of 17 lakh.