In the wake of the recent fire accident in a commercial building in Secunderabad, a high-level meeting of ministers was held on Wednesday, January 25. The meeting was held by Telangana Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) KT Rama Rao, Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, and Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, to review the measures to be taken on high-rise buildings that do not adhere to fire safety norms within Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. Among other precautionary measures, the ministers also decided to provide ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the victims of the recent fire in a building on Minister Road in Secunderabad.
The ministers also proposed several measures to improve fire safety in the state, including fire safety audits of high-rise buildings and huge structures in Hyderabad and other cities in Telangana, including commercial buildings, hospitals, and schools; change in existing fire safety rules if required; use of drones and robotics technology in maintaining fire safety at tall structures in Hyderabad; preparing a list of suggestions after studying best practices adopted by cities in India and abroad to prevent fire mishaps from recurring; training classes and modern equipment for existing fire services department staff; exploring the possibility of involving owners of buildings in maintaining fire safety.
Three people remained trapped inside the commercial building in Secunderabad where a major fire broke out earlier on January 19. Personnel involved in the rescue and relief operation have been unable to go inside the building, as it faced the possibility of collapsing with its slab breaking up. Authorities used drone cameras to locate the three persons, who were workers in the building.
An official said experts have analysed the structural stability of the building and a decision would be taken on its demolition after they submit a report. Police personnel have been deployed to prevent people from entering the scene of the accident as experts stated that the building is in a bad condition following the blaze. In September last year, eight people were killed in a fire that originated at an electric bike showroom in Secunderabad. The deceased were all staying at a hotel in the same building.
The high-level meeting on Wednesday was held in the Chief Secretaryâ€™s Office at BRKR Bhavan, and was attended by several officials including Chief Secretary A Santhi Kumari, Director General of Police Anjani Kumar, GHMC Mayor Gadwal Vijayalakshmi, GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar, Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand, Cyberabad Police Commissioner M Stephen Raveendra, Rachakonda Police Commissioner DS Chauhan, Hyderabad Collector Amoy Kumar, among others.