BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad made a surprise visit to the market on Thursday after criticism from the Karnataka High Court.

KR Market paths to be cleared in Bengaluru after HC notes dismal fire safety norms
news Fire Safety Friday, March 29, 2019 - 09:22

After criticism from the Karnataka High Court over the lack of fire safety measures at the city’s landmark KR Market, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will start an anti-encroachment drive from Friday onwards.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad on Thursday made a surprise visit to the market and found unauthorised constructions and encroachments in designated pathways.

“The volume of encroachments was such that the fire brigade won’t be able to progress easily during emergency evacuations. Hence, removing the encroachments is the immediate measure we took,” the Deccan Herald quoted Prasad as saying.

He added, “Many shopkeepers in the market have encroached three-fourth of the space in front of their shops, displaying produce and other merchandise. They have even encroached the footpaths by parking vehicles and keeping their stuff.”

The Commissioner also said that Rs 2.7 crore of the Rs 50 crore amount allotted under the Smart City project for the renovation of the market will be spent on fire-proofing measures. This includes a fire substation with a minimum staff strength of 25 persons.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka HC criticised the BBMP of laxity on fire safety norms and warned that the BBMP Commissioner and the Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) department will be named as the first and second accused if a mishap occurs. The court was hearing a petition filed by Bengaluru Flower Merchants’ Association seeking the removal of encroachments on the pathway. The HC had directed the BBMP to submit a compliance report within two weeks’ time.

In the light of the HC hearing, Prasad also issued a two-page circular to all zonal engineers to review fire safety measures of all commercial buildings in their jurisdiction.

The Times of India quoted him saying, “It’s the responsibility of executive engineers to see that markets and commercial complexes are properly maintained. Daily activities, including providing water, clean drainage system, power supply and annual repairs need to be undertaken by the zonal executive engineer (projects). Further these engineers need to be well-equipped to handle any natural, climatic, fire emergency works in their jurisdiction.”

 

 
 

 

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