Punjab Govt takes swift action following PSHRC intervention on fire safety lapses in Mohali

  • | Wednesday | 10th July, 2024

In a decisive response to fire safety deficiencies, Punjab Government has initiated immediate measures to improve fire safety protocols in SAS Nagar, Mohali. The action came after the intervention of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), which took suo motu notice of a newspaper report, dated June 8, 2023, highlighting significant lapses in the fire safety across various buildings in Mohali.   The PSHRC, led by chairperson Justice Sant Parkash, sought a detailed report from the Commissioner of Mohali Municipal Corporation pinpointing numerous establishments, including the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), Government press, civil hospitals, Punjab School Education Board, and a Government college, which had not obtained the necessary fire safety No Objection Certificates (NOCs).   After initial delays, the Municipal Corporation submitted a comprehensive report on January 9, 2024. The report, provided by Mohalis Joint Commissioner, revealed that the municipal fire station officer had been instructed to conduct regular inspections of commercial establishments to ensure fire safety compliance. However, the PSHRC found this report lacking in specifics regarding actions taken against the defaulters and directed the submission of a more detailed action report by April 8, 2024.   In the subsequent report filed on April 5, 2024, several key developments were highlighted — that is the GMADA obtained its NOC from the Fire Department on January 8, 2024; Government Press Phase-VI in Mohali allocated Rs eight crore for fire safety equipment repairs and prevention measures; Government Hospital Phase-VI in Mohali secured its NOC on March 27, 2024, after completing the required formalities; Punjab School Education Board in Mohali obtained its NOC on April 3, 2024; and the Government College in Mohali installed 62 fire extinguishers and requested Rs 40-50 lakh for further fire safety measures, with the funds still pending sanction.   Furthermore, 466 notices had been issued to various defaulters for non-compliance with fire safety regulations. In response to the PSHRCs continued oversight, an interim report submitted on April 15, 2024, by the Assistant Divisional Fire Safety Officer confirmed the allocation of Rs eight crore for fire safety improvements and the sanctioning of Rs 77.3 lakh for the Government College, Mohali.   The PSHRCs latest order, dated July 8, 2024, directed the Director of Technical Government Printing Press, Phase-VI Mohali, and the Director of Higher Education, Punjab, to expedite fire safety compliance in their respective offices. A compliance report is to be submitted by September 26, 2024.   The Fire Safety Officer for Mohali Municipal Corporation Sikander Singh Nagar reported that the allocated funds are being used to install fire safety equipment. He also stated that 602 notices had been issued in 2024 to commercial and industrial buildings in the district for lacking fire safety equipment. Meetings with the Market Committee Association have also been held to address these issues.   The proactive steps taken by the Punjab Government, under the vigilant supervision of the PSHRC, underscored their commitment to ensuring public safety and adherence to fire safety standards across SAS Nagar, Mohali.   The Commission has asked to file the compliance report by the next date of hearing, while adjourning the matter to September 26, 2024.  

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