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HAS NMMC MADE A MOCKERY OF OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATES IN PALM BEACH TOWERS VIOLATING FIRE SAFETY NORMS – NMTV “FIRE SAFETY INITIATIVE” REPORT

High-risesConditional NOCs are meaningless and even final NOCs that NMMC Fire Brigade is issuing to towers on Palm Beach Road are vague. Despite knowing that by issuing Occupancy Certificates to High Rises on Palm Beach Road on conditional NOCs, they were putting the life and property of citizens at stake – the NMMC still did so. We spoke to eminent social activist Sandeep Thakur to find out whether “NMMC has made a mockery of Occupancy Certificates in Palm Beach Towers Violating Fire Safety Norms?” NMTV Dy. Editor Sana Warsia gets to you what the expert has to say in our “NMTV Fire Safety” Initiative report. Fraud and meaningless – while these terms describe the conditional NOCs issued by NMMC Fire Fighting Dept. so that builders could get Occupancy Certificates for their towers on Palm Beach Road – you should take a look at the final NOC that the Fire Fighting Dept is issuing to the towers. An example being the one issued to Kesar Solitaire – a 100% commercial tower on Palm Beach Road. A look at the final NOC exposes that there is no evidence of a thorough inspection. No layman would be able to understand whether the Fire Dept. officials visited the premises of the builder, inspected all the fire fighting equipments and checked whether the builder had provided all that is needed in the tower in accordance with the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. The NOC mentions none of these. It’s not difficult to understand why the NMMC Fire Dept. is issuing NOCs to towers in Palm Beach Road in such a careless manner but what is concerning is that based on these conditional NOCs the NMMC Town Planning Office has issued Occupancy Certificates to all the towers – certifying that the building is safe in terms of fire safety when none of them are. When we tried to speak with Aswin Gogari, chairman of Kesar Group about the final NOC and the fire safety equipments installed in the tower, Kesar Solitaire, he gave the lame excuse of being busy and refused to speak on the matter. That is why our question this week on NMTV Fire Safety Initiative is “Has NMMC Made a Mockery of Occupancy Certificates in Palm Beach Road Towers Violating Fire Safety Norms?” To find out the answer to this question, we met eminent social activist of the city Sandeep Thakur who, perhaps knows the NMMC administration’s dubious style of working more than any other citizen in Navi Mumbai today. Sandeep Thakur says that according to him all conditional NOC are useless and frauds, because what is the purpose of an NOC when requirements are not fulfilled. He says either there should be a NOC or no NOC, conditional NOC does not mean anything and is meaningless. While the conditional NOC is meaningless, the final NOC too is vague and puts a question mark on the credibility and reliability of these NOCs. According to Sandeep Thakur – an ideal Fire NOC should clearly state what should be available in the tower as per the Fire Safety Act 2006 and the date on which the Fire Officials visited the tower and inspected the same. It should be so clear that anyone can understand it. After seeing the final NOC issued by NMMC to Kesar Solitaire, he says that the relevant information that should have been mentioned in accordance with the act has not been mentioned. Besides Kesar Solitaire, all the other towers on Palm Beach Road were issued OCs on the basis of conditional NOCs given by the NMMC Fire Dept. In other words, none of the towers of Palm Beach Road did not have a NOC from the NMMC Fire Dept. yet they were given OCs. Sandeep Thakur says that the practice of issuing conditional NOCs should be banned. And as far as NMMC’s motive in issuing such meaningless NOCs is concerned – the answer is not difficult for anyone to imagine. There is no denying that greedy and corrupt brains in the NMMC administration are working in nexus with builders as far conditional NOCs are concerned. According to Sandeep Thakur, this is highly irresponsible behavior on part of the corporation. The NMMC administration has clearly made a mockery of Occupancy Certificates in the case of towers on Palm Beach Road but what they fail to understand is that they are playing with an issue that revolves around the lives and death of residents. After spending Crores of Rupees in buying their dream house, now it is up to the residents to implement the fire safety norms strictly in order to save their lives and property. God forbid, if any fire did claim lives or property in these towers, the only victims will be innocent citizens and they will be responsible for ensuring their own safety.

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