A bill was passed in the West Bengal assembly on Friday that sought to bring parity in the fire clearance norms for highrises in Kolkata.
"An NOC (no objection certificate) of the fire department was earlier needed for buildings over 14.5 metres in height. That limit is being raised to 15.5 metres with this new bill," minister of state for fire and emergency services Sujit Bose said.
This relaxation will be applicable to only areas under Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The fire department along with KMC took the decision to raise the limit after consultations with experts, Bose said.
The change was made to bring parity with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Building) Rules 2009 on the minimum height of a building that is required for its being treated as a highrise.
Speaking to reporters on the assembly premises, Bose said 1,464 buildings in Kolkata, mostly commercial ones, were found to be dangerous in a preliminary survey done by his department.
A task force comprising the fire department, KMC and CESC personnel has already audited 568 of these unsafe buildings. The rest of the buildings will be audited soon, the state minister said.