Mumbai: BMC hikes building fire safety scrutiny fees

The civic fire brigade department has increased annual scrutiny fees by 2.5 times for issuing fire safety no objection certificate (NOC) for fresh/amended structure in respect of high and low rise buildings comprising both commercial and residential.

As per the revised fees structure which has come into effect from April 1, 2021, now a residential building having a height of up to 32 metre spread on 5,000 sq metre of area will have to pay minimum of Rs 5 lakh, which was earlier only Rs 1.95 lakh (Rs 39/sq mtre) and for additional area Rs 100/sq mtr will be charged. Similarly, residential building from 32 mtr up to 70 mtr need to pay Rs 10 lakh for up to 5,000 sq mtr and for additional area Rs 200/sq mtr will be levied. Similarly for a commercial building up to 32 mtr of height minimum of Rs 10 lakh will be charged for up to 5000 sq mtr and for additional area Rs 200 per sq mtr will be imposed.

The revision in scrutiny fees is an annual practice. However, real estate experts believe this year the said hike is done drastically, which is about 2.5 times of the previous year fees imposed for the same work.

Anand Gupta chairperson of Housing and RERA committee of Builders Association of India, has expressed great disappointment. "The hike is not justified. Just for conducting a scrutiny why such a hefty amount of fees is being taken. They are not developing a road / requires to do any capital expenditure for carrying out the scrutiny. It is a sheer paper work. Besides, it is unfair that when the real estate sector is facing financial crisis this hike is done, which could have been prevented especially in this pandemic situation when business has been largely affected."

Interestingly, the BMC in its annual budget had stated that the building fire safety scrutiny fees will be increased to improve the existing and new fire safety infrastructure useful at the time of controlling fire mishaps, if any reported in the city.

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