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Hakim calls for rethink on meter box location

'How will people come out in case of a fire if the meter box is near the exit?' the chairperson of the CMC’s board of administrators asked

Subhajoy Roy Calcutta Published 18.10.20, 02:03 AM
Firhad Hakim

Firhad Hakim File picture

The fire brigade and the CESC have to think about old houses with electric meter boxes below staircases and close to exits, Firhad Hakim, the chairperson of the CMC’s board of administrators, said.

“They have to do something… there are hundreds of such houses. The CMC no longer allows meter boxes near exits,” he said on Saturday.


“How will people come out in case of a fire if the meter box is near the exit?” Hakim asked. “I had once gone to a house on Clive Row… the electric wires from the meter boxes went up the walls along the wooden stairs. I shuddered at the thought of a fire breaking out… how will people come out?

“It is impossible for the CMC to check if meter boxes are fixed near the exits of old houses. The fire brigade, too, will find it difficult to do so…. I will speak to the CESC; they have to ensure that fire rules are followed while giving permission for new meters.”

A retired fire brigade officer said the fire directorate had suggested that old buildings shift meter boxes to a passage outside buildings and away from exits. “This is a genuine problem with old houses. We had suggested several years ago that owners and tenants can build a shed on a passage and shift the meters there to keep the exit free of fire hazard.”

A CESC official said the company had stopped issuing new meters in case of property apportionment.

“We no longer issue new meters in old buildings if space is now divided between two or more people and if the meter box is near the exit,” the official said.

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