New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) Two incidents of fire in Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar area which houses scores of coaching centres and paying guest (PG) hostels have been reported this year.
In one incident on Wednesday, around 35 girls were rescued from a PG hostel after a massive fire broke out in the building, while on June 15, several students of a private coaching institute in the area broke windows, climbed down ropes and took help of ladders in desperate attempts to escape a fire that broke out on the top floor of the building housing it.
Recently, the Delhi High Court had also directed the city authorities to close all coaching centres operating without a no-objection certificate from the Fire Department but they were running right under the administration's nose.
According to the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), currently, there is no requirement for a non-objection certificate (NOC) for paying guest (PG) facilities with a building height of less than 15 meters.
"NOCs are issued for buildings exceeding this height when used for PG accommodations. The incident occurred in a PG facility with a building height under 15 meters, making NOC optional," said the official.
The official stressed the danger of operating a kitchen on the building's terrace where 50 residents stay, particularly without adequate fire safety measures. He said that in case of a fire, the gas cylinder could explode, posing a severe risk.
Such buildings not subject to NOC requirements often overlook essential fire safety standards, the official added.
Atul Garg, the DFS director, highlighted a common issue where electric meters were often placed near escape routes: "Many buildings had a single escape route, which could fill with smoke during emergencies, leading to injuries and casualties. We had communicated with power distribution companies several times, urging them to relocate electric meters away from escape routes in all buildings for improved safety but its still pending."
On Wednesday, 35 girls, including a child, were rescued after a massive fire broke out at a girls' PG hostel here in the Mukherjee Nagar area.
However, five persons, including a child around two to three-years old were admitted at New Life Hospital in Mukherjee Nagar area and their condition is said to be stable.
The recent fire incident has once again raised a concern about illegal or unauthorised building running commercial businesses in the national Capital and endangering lives of students.
As per sources, there are over 15,000 coaching centres and PGs operating across Delhi in the areas of Laxmi Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Kalu Sarai, Satya Niketan, Rajendra Palace, Karol Bagh among others.
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