It may be the sought-after venue for public functions and a preferred location for political parties for their “show of strength” events, but Talkatora Indoor Stadium lacks a No Objection Certificate from the fire department since its revamp for the Commonwealth Games 2010. A recent inspection has confirmed that the stadium’s fire detection system is non-functional.
Despite the deficiency, New Delhi Municipal Council has been continuously allowing events there. Sources said the fire department gives an NOC for the day of the event by placing extra fire extinguishers and tenders. Officials of the civic body say that the problem is being dealt with on a priority now. The “peculiar” case of Talkatora Stadium figures in a report on “Easing of Regulations Related to Event Management” submitted recently by the Commissioner Excise, Entertainment and Luxury tax, Sanjay Kumar, to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office.
“This popular stadium is one of the few premises where the fire department has refused to grant an NOC. An inspection was conducted by them and deficiencies conveyed to NDMC,” the report states. It adds that even after years of intimation, no action has so far been initiated by the civic body. “It would be prudent to immediately get these deficiencies rectified and get a permanent NOC from the fire department,” the report adds.
NDMC officials confirmed the lack of fire NOC since the revamp for CWG. Also, the new building added to the complex during the revamp has no access from one side for fire tenders in case of an emergency. The fire department is expected to submit a detailed report to NDMC and only after deficiencies are plugged will the stadium be granted an NOC.
The report by the Excise Commissioner has used the Talkatora case to recommend bringing stadiums under the “licensed premises” list maintained by Delhi Police. “It will be beneficial if stadiums also get registered as licensed premises. This kind of one-time registration will eliminate the need for permission for every event being organized in the stadiums,” the report recommends.