By CT reporter
MANGALORE: Out of hundreds of multi storied buildings that have sprung up in the city only one building has been reported to have obtained the clearance from the department of fire and emergency services! This is the sad truth that has come out from the department following a recent major fire mishap in Trade Centre near Jyothi Circle of the city.
Expressing his regret about the brazen violation of fire and safety rules during the construction of these buildings, the Chief Officer of the Department H S Varadarajan said that lack of fire safety rules is a serious issue.
Varadarajan has clarified that barring ‘Royal Constructions’ a nine storied building in Kadri, none of the remaining multi storied buildings have obtained clearance from the department.
The city corporation cannot issue ‘occupancy’ certificate to the buildings upon their completion without referring the matter to the department of fire and emergency services. Have majority of the multi storied buildings in the city illegally obtained this certificate from the City Corporation? Was it made possible with the connivance of the Corporation officials? These questions have so far remained unanswered.
In a letter dated July 3, 2008, the department of fire and emergency services has instructed the urban development department to conduct a survey of those multi storied buildings in the city which had begun functioning even before obtaining the requisite occupancy certificate from the department of fire and emergency services. But by now it came to light that majority of multi storied buildings in the city had already obtained this certificate. In the light of this exposure the department of fire and emergency services clarified that it had not issued any such certificates to any of these buildings.
Most of multi storied buildings which have mushroomed in the city have been constructed by flouting the norms laid down by the bye laws and the fire safety rules. Therefore none of the owners of these buildings have ever approached his department, Varadarajan informed.
Now it has come to light that MCC has illegally issued the certificates to these building even before the clearance from the department of fire and emergency services was obtained.
Land mafia is behind all the illegal construction of buildings in Mangalore. Alleging that this mafia was enjoying the support from corrupt officials of MCC and politicians, the Citizen Forum for Mangalore Development Convener Vidya Dinker said that when the forum had taken the issue of illegal contraction to the then CM Dharam Singh the latter had assured that ‘the buildings in Mangalore are not beyond the provisions of National Building Rules’. “But what is happening in Mangalore is exactly opposite to the provisions of these rules. The skeletons in the cupboard of the MCC officials tumble out every time a tragedy strikes” she said.