RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Civil Defence is making all out efforts to ensure safety of the citizens and conducting raids to inspect fire safety measures at commercial buildings while 83 commercial buildings were challaned and fines amounting to over Rs 550,000 were imposed on the rules violators during March.
Civil Defence Chief Officer Talib Hussain said that the Civil Defence on the directives of Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner was taking action in accordance with the law against the rules violators.
He said that the department also issued 60 notices and warned the owners to improve safety measures at the commercial buildings.
He said that the department had prepared a list of all the commercial buildings of the city including plazas, marriage halls, marquees, hotels, shopping centres, public and private sector offices and educational institutes.
The marriage halls and marquees in district Rawalpindi were directed to take fire safety measures, he added.
He said, the department was conducting raids to inspect all educational institutions, factories, hotels, petrol stations, CNG stations, wedding halls, vehicle showrooms, high-rise buildings, plazas and issuing notices to those who had failed to adopt fire safety measures.
The teams had been formed to inspect buildings and issue notices to the violators. The Civil Defence on the instructions of the district administration had expedited its operation. He said the owners of multi-storey buildings particularly in narrow city markets had been asked to adopt fire safety measures. According to building by-laws, essential safety measures are required in commercial, industrial and public buildings to ensure the safety of occupants in the event of a fire or emergency. Commercial buildings' layout plants must contain exit doors, fire hydrants, fire-isolated stairs, emergency lifts, mechanical ventilation and sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, a safety management system and a fire control centre, he added.
The Civil Defence had been given the powers to issue notices, impose fines or even completely seal illegal marriage halls and marquees in the city. In this regard, the Civil Defence had issued formal notices to a large number of marriage halls and marquees in the city, he said. Moreover, the district administration had introduced a new set of rules according to which construction of marriage halls and marquees built on the main roads, the Grand Trunk Road and roads frequented by heavy traffic has been banned. For existing structures along such roads, they have been directed to remove their entrance from the main road.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2019.