Fire inspection of Delhi guesthouses and hotels to begin again

After a five-month gap due to the Covid outbreak, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) is set to resume inspections of restaurants and guesthouses, and conduct fire-safety training sessions for the establishments, in the national capital. Officials said most of their work will now be done through an online portal, called ‘Unified Portal for Licensing of Eating/Lodging & Boarding Establishments in Delhi’.

DFS Chief, Atul Garg, said the portal was created earlier this year but most applications weren’t accepted because of the lockdown: “We received more than 1,000 requests on the portal to issue NOCs or renew fire licences. Most restaurants and guest houses wanted to get an NOC but we couldn’t carry out inspections. Now that restaurants and other establishments are reopening, the portal is being used and we are issuing NOCs in less than a month.”

After the government announced that bars will be allowed to reopen post September 9, the DFS said it is receiving more applications for NOC and licence renewal. To simplify the process, the portal asks for all details that will be required by the DFS, MCDs, the Delhi Police and Delhi Pollution Control Committee. “Earlier, restaurant owners had to submit their documents to the agencies separately. Now, they can scan their documents and upload them on the website. The application is forwarded to each agency and if everything is correct, we send our personnel for verification,” said Garg.

To prevent incidents of fire in the future, the DFS is also opening an online training centre for restaurant/hotel staffers and owners. “We want to teach people fire safety measures. The sessions will be free of cost and we are only charging Rs 1,000 as registration fee from applicants. Some sessions will be conducted online and others will be done at our institute,” said a DFS official.