NMTV “Fire Safety” Initiative was started when we were informed from highly placed sources in NMMC administration that most towers including the ones on Palm Beach Road were given Occupancy Certificates on the basis of conditional fire NOCs. This meant that builders were being given OCs despite violating fire safety norms. We followed the issue with NMMC for weeks and got least cooperation from the NMMC Fire Dept. and Town Planning Office, yet we did not let go. And finally this week, NMMC has stated that they will not give Occupancy Certificates to builders on the basis of conditional fire NOCs. The assurance has been given on record by Dy. Municipal Commissioner J N Sinnarkar to Dy, Editor Sana Warsia on NMTV “Fire Safety” Initiative. Did you ever think that these towers standing tall on Palm Beach Road as the most elite of all violate fire safety norms and despite this were granted Occupancy Certificates from NMMC? Neither did we ! So when highly placed sources in NMMC administration informed us about it, we started the NMTV “Fire Safety” Initiative. The aim were two – 1st that builders of all towers on Palm Beach Road should implement Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 and get the final fire NOC and 2nd – that NMMC should ban the practice of giving Occupancy Certificates to builders on conditional fire NOCs. We met senior corporators of NMMC who have been following our reports. So you remember how NMMC’s Chief Fire Officer had accepted that using Bronto Skylifts is impossible So did NMMC Health Committee Chairman Shivram Patil who said that it was unfortunate that the Fire Chief was showing such helplessness. Shivram Patil also did not hesitate to point out what we have been saying all along – that there is a nexus between builders and NMMC officials and this nexus is compromising with fire safety laws. Leader of the house in NMMC Vitthal More and Shivram Patil say that the Town Planning Office should give Occupancy Certificate only after the builders have got the final fire NOCs from NMMC. When NMTV continued to raise these issue with NMMC, sources from NMMC informed us last week that builders of towers on Palm Beach Road were rushing to NMMC to get back dated final fire NOCs and this week we have better news – “No more Occupancy Certificates to builders on the basis of conditional fire NOCs” – NMMC’s man in charge of fire services and Dy. Municipal Commissioner J Sinnarkar has assured NMTV News that they will send a notice to the Town Planning Office to not issue OCs based on conditional fire NOCs. DMC J Sinnarkar says that according to the law final fire NOC is mandatory before people come to stay in any tower. The DMC accepts that if a tower has only conditional fire NOC, residents should not live in it. When we told him that residents were living in towers on Palm Beach Road and other areas that did not have final fire NOC, he said that they will send notices to them and will take strict action against them after three months of the notice. And finally the Dy. Municipal Commissioner gave assured us that no more OCs to builders on the basis of conditional fire NOCs. As Chief of NMMC Fire Dept. he will send a notice to the TPO to implement this. According to social activist Sandeep Thakur, this assurance of NMMC is a success for NMTV Fire Safety Initiative. Sandeep Thakur said that NMMC was playing with the lives of people. He added that conditional NOCs were invented only for corruption and somewhere NMTV’s initiative will save lives. Finally NMMC administration has understood the grave dangers of fire violations in high rises. This NMTV impact will ensure that the corrupt system of giving conditional fire NOCs is scrapped and will also make NMMC accountable and responsible in implementing Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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