Delhi High Court Directs Expedited Fire Safety Measures In 92 Schools

Delhi High Court Directs Expedited Fire Safety Measures In 92 Schools

The court was hearing a public interest litigation by advocate Kush Kalra who has claimed that many schools, both private and government-run/aided, have not complied with fire safety and building stability norms.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, March 06, 2024, 07:06 PM IST
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Delhi High Court Directs Expedited Fire Safety Measures In 92 Schools | FPJ/Representational Picture

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Department of Delhi Fire Services (DFS) to expedite the process of no-objection certificate sought by the municipal corporation regarding its 92 schools.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora also asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to expedite the civil and electrical work pending in its schools and to either vacate or reconstruct or strengthen the two school buildings which have been termed as dangerous.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation by advocate Kush Kalra who has claimed that many schools, both private and government-run/aided, have not complied with fire safety and building stability norms.

The bench perused a status report filed by the MCD in which it was stated that out of 1,185 schools, fire no-objection certificate (NOC) was issued to 705 schools, NOC applied for 92 schools and civil work is pending in 119 schools and both civil and electrical works are pending in 116 schools.

"MCD is directed to expedite the civil work pending in 119 schools and civil and electrical work pending in 116 schools. The DFS is directed to expedite the process of NOC filed by MCD qua 92 schools. The two schools that have been termed as dangerous buildings should either be vacated, reconstructed or strengthened forthwith," the bench said.

It noted that the status report of MCD states that approach road to 101 schools is very narrow and thus NOC cannot be issued qua them.

"MCD is directed to explore the options of either widening the approach road or shifting the schools or providing fire safety measures within the school itself," the bench said and directed the MCD to file a fresh status report in the matter.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on May 2.

Kalra, in his plea filed in 2017, has claimed that the Supreme Court had in 2009 issued directions to all the schools in India to have fire safety and stability certificates, but these were not being complied with.

He has alleged that the Delhi government's Directorate of Education, the Department of Fire Services and Public Works Department are being negligent in performing their duties to take steps to ensure that the schools are complying with building stability and fire safety norms.

The lawyer has also claimed that authorities, including the municipal corporation, were clueless as to whether any school under their jurisdiction is actually complying with the norms.

The petition has sought directions to the local authorities to ensure compliance of the apex court's order as well as the National Building Code of India, claiming that the "safety of school-going students in Delhi is at risk".


The high court had earlier pulled up the Delhi government for not taking any action against schools, run by it and private ones, which have inadequate fire safety measures and asked whether it was "waiting for a tragedy to hit" before acting.

The court had said the Delhi government has the power to ensure that the schools in the national capital are structurally safe and have adequate fire safety measures.

It directed the Delhi government and the municipal corporation to issue notices to errant schools under their jurisdiction to ensure adequate fire safety measures and structural stability in their buildings.

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