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High Court asks MCGM whether its offers jobs to kin of firemen

The Bombay High Court today asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) whether it has a policy to offer jobs to families of firemen who die in harness and to the kin of victims who perish in fire mishaps.

High Court asks MCGM-AV
If such a policy does not exist, then the civic body has to ensure that it frames one on these lines, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka said while hearing a petition seeking fire safety audits in city buildings.

The bench has asked the MCGM to file a reply to its query on this policy and deferred the matter for hearing beyond summer vacations in June.

The petition, filed by activist Sharmila Ghuge, alleged that the civic body has failed to comply with the norms of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act.

It also pointed out increase in fire incidents in the city and cited death of fire fighting officers during a major fire which broke out in Kalbadevi area of South Mumbai last year.

On last occasion, the MCGM lawyer, replying to a query by the court about steps taken by the civic body to comply with the norms, had informed that the municipal body had inspected nearly 6,000 buildings till now for fire safety.

However, the court had asked the lawyer to furnish details on the manner of inspections done so far. Also, the court has asked MCGM to give details about who is authorised to issue and sign fire audit certificates and whether the civic body was declaring the statutory warnings with regard to fire safety.

The court ordered MCGM to take appropriate measures to avoid fire incidents due to non-compliance of rules.

On the implementation of rules, MCGM lawyer informed the court that the corporation had inspected nearly 3,895 structures in the city and 3,310 in the suburbs.

He said 1,531 non compliance notices were issued to buildings in city and 3,291 notices to buildings situated in suburbs.

A total of 11 buildings have been prosecuted so far, he said.

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