After Surat tragedy, Delhi to shut down coaching centres operating above fourth floor

In the backdrop of the Surat fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 22 students, the Delhi government has notified new fire safety measures in the building by-laws, including installing carbon monoxide detectors and a ban on rooftop and basement kitchens. It also ordered the city fire services to carry out an “immediate inspection” of all the buildings housing coaching centres.

The notification issued by the Urban Development department of Delhi government also lays down that fire NOC (no objection certificate) for guest houses will not be issued to those buildings which have more than four floors (excluding basement and stilt floor), said Delhi Urban Development minister Satyendar Jain.

The Delhi government in February this year had approved amendments in building by-laws to make room for improved fire safety norms in the buildings, after 17 people were killed in an inferno at a hotel in Karolbagh area of the city. Jain said that the fire safety norms as per the amendment in building by-laws have been implemented with immediate effect. The Delhi government has also ordered the Delhi Fire Services to carry out an “immediate inspection” of all the buildings housing coaching centres, said the minister.

The notification inserts a new clause 7.31 in Chapter 7 of the Unified Building By-Laws for Delhi, 2018, under which various provisions have been made for fire safety. “No kitchen will be allowed on rooftops or basements. No cooking activity of any kind will be permitted on rooftop or basement,” it said. Also, no temporary roofing over the roof or terrace with use of inflammable material will be allowed.

The notified amendment also provides for carbon monoxide fire detectors and alarms to be installed in the buildings as per Delhi Fire Services standards. It also provides for proper air ventilation for staircases and corridors in the buildings besides banning storage of inflammable material on the rooftop.