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After Kamala Mills fire, new establishments applying for NOCs to get 10 days to comply with norms

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New establishments will have to comply with the fire safety norms within 10 days of applying for no-objection certificates as officers of the compliance cells will carry out an inspection within the stipulated time, according to the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB). The official said now officers will have to inspect existing establishments randomly, especially when they receive applications for licence renewal.

“Earlier, fire safety guidelines used to be stipulated individually for every establishment, after a site inspection. The NOC used to be granted without further checks. The same place would be inspected again only if there were complaints or a fire,” said a fire official.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now plans to put up different guidelines on its website to be followed by different kinds of establishments. From next week, owners of new establishments seeking no-objection certificates (NOC) will have to follow these guidelines before a fire audit is due.

Earlier this year, BMC set up fire compliance cells and appointed 34 dedicated station officers in different administrative wards to carry out regular inspections. The official said now these officers will have to inspect existing establishments randomly, when they receive applications for licence renewal.

According to norms proposed for functioning of the cells, each inspection officer will be assigned a certain number of establishments as target. Inspections of structures with higher fire risks will be conducted under the guidance of senior fire officers.

BMC expects to spend at least Rs2.3 crore on operating the compliance cells and the building inspection system. It has also acquired 28 vehicles inspector for Rs1.7 crore. Since January, the cells have audited at least 2,500 establishments for fire safety, most of which are eateries.

With BMC’s ‘building inspection system’, a software to ensure transparency, station officers will be able to upload all inspection reports, issue notices and review applications. BMC has made it mandatory for hoteliers to upload pictures of restaurants premises with dates of fire NOCs.

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