Mumbai : The Bombay High Court on Monday slammed the BMC for not complying with the rules mentioned in the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act of 2006 and has directed the Municipal Corporation to take necessary steps to implement the rules.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka was hearing a petition filed by one Sharmila Ghuge who, in her petition, has alleged that the BMC has failed to comply with the norms of the Act. The petitioner has pointed the increase in number of fire incidents in city and has also cited the death of Fire Fighting Officers during the major fire which broke out in Kalbadevi, last year.

When the court asked the BMC lawyer about the steps taken by them to comply with the norms, the lawyer informed the court that the civic body has inspected nearly 6,000 buildings till now for fire safety.

However, the court asked the advocate to give details on the manner of inspections done yet. Also the court has asked the BMC to give details on who is authorised to issue and sign the fire audit certificates and is the BMC stating the statutory warnings with regards to fire safety.

While hearing the petition, the court ordered BMC to take appropriate measures to avoid fire incidents due to non-compliance of rules.

“The BMC gives permission to builders to construct huge structures, but the builders aren’t following the necessary rules regarding the fire safety in a building, despite the 2006 Act puts forth many a provisions to be followed,” said Shyam Dewani, advocate representing the petitioner.

The BMC laywer in his reply, informed the court that the corporation have inspected nearly 3,895 structures in the city while 3,310 in suburbs of Mumbai. He further informed that a total of 1,531 non compliance notices were issued to buildings in city and 3291 notices to buildings situated in the suburbs. Also total 11 buildings are prosecuted so far. However, the court has adjourned the next hearing till March 21 and has asked the BMC to submit details of the steps taken yet to implement the rules of the Act of 2006.

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