Delhi government notifies building bylaws for fire safety

The Delhi government has issued a notification with 10 amendments to the Delhi Building Bylaws – 2016, to enhance fire safety in hotels in the city. In the notification, special directives have been given regarding the use of rooftops, basements, passages and exit routes for curtailing the spread of fire in public buildings.

“All existing and future guest houses must install carbon monoxide smoke alarms, fire doors on each floor and remove all kinds of combustible materials from passages, exit routes and rooftops,” the notification said. The modified bylaws will be applicable to the areas under the jurisdiction of the concerned local bodies — East Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The amendments were made and approved in February during an inter-departmental meeting, chaired by Home and Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain. The notification was issued recently by Pawan Chopra, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, after approval from Jain. On February 12, a fire broke out in the early morning at Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, leading to the death of 17 people.

The initial probe showed that many of the building regulations, implementation of which could have reduced the impact of the horrific incident, were not followed. “The government has decided to amend the existing Delhi Building Bylaws 2016 to prevent the recurrence of such ghastly fire incidents,” the Minister said. As per the amendments, no kitchen will be allowed on rooftops or basements.

Fire NOC for Guest House will not be issued to those buildings which have more than four floors (excluding basement and stilt floor), it said. “Inflammable materials of construction will not be used in passage, corridors or staircases like wooden paneling, foam paneling, carpet etc.” “Owner/Director/Partner will submit three signed hard copies along with one softcopy in PDF format of all the floor plans indicating the floor-wise use while submitting the application to the Fire Department for NOC.”