The Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services were given the power to inspect buildings to ensure compliance with fire safety requirements on July 7, 2011. Just under three months later, it has inspected 80 buildings, most in the Central Business District.
According to fire force officers, the response during this inspection has been mixed. “Most buildings constructed after 2005 complied with the norms. However, we found many violations in older buildings. Notices have been served to their owners to rectify the problems,” said BK Hampagol, deputy director (technical), department of fire and emergency services. As per law, all buildings must renew their safety clearance with this department and other civil authorities every two years.
But many builders don’t follow this. In this situation, the department has to conduct an inspection. However, officers say they want to spread awareness among builders and streamline inspection before issuing notices. “There are so many buildings in the city and it won’t be possible to inspect all of them in a short period. It’ll take at least one year to finish the audit. Also, we have to coordinate with other agencies. It’ll take at least a year to streamline inspection procedures,” said Hampagol.