The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 26 , 2014
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IT hub gets its fire handbook

A 3,500-page fire-safety audit report of Salt Lake Sector V, the information technology hub, could become the reference book when fire licence for the buildings come up for renewal.

The audit found that almost 90 per cent of the companies operating from buildings under the Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA), which had commissioned the safety check, are following the norms.

The report has detailed drawings of building layout that the fire department can uses as a ready reckoner during emergencies and for renewal of the fire-safety licence.

“After the fire in AMRI Hospitals, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed the fire department as well as all the civic bodies to check the preparedness of various establishments,” said Firhad Hakim, minister for urban development and municipal affairs, after releasing the report on Tuesday evening.

Badrinarayan Kar, chief executive officer of NDITA, and Sector V stakeholders were present on the occasion.

“Fire audit of an entire township is a long and complex task, especially when almost all the establishments are commercial and thus have to be audited thoroughly,” he said.

Officials of NDITA, which is responsible for the township’s civic upkeep, said all the 275 buildings in the tech town were audited by two private agencies in eight months.

After the first phase last year, buildings without adequate firefighting measures were told to take up measures.

“This is probably the first such exercise where an entire industrial township’s fire safety has been audited. Not a single building was spared. We carried out double-checks so that the agencies could not bluff,” Kar said.

“It is not possible for the fire department to check every nook and cranny of all the buildings. The report that we have prepared will help them know the exact nature of firefighting arrangements of a building whenever the need arises,” said an official.

The agencies were given the criteria they had to follow while doing the audit. “Top priority is to save human lives in a fire. The agencies were instructed to focus on evacuation facilities in the buildings. We asked them to check how fast a fire can be detected so that response and rescue time can be reduced,” the official added.

The NDITA will update the report from time to time.