From ET Realty
The notices were issued on January 2 and the malls have 15 days to set right the violations. Failure to comply would result in the fire department recommending disconnection of power and other utility services. Orion Mall in Yeshwanthpur, Mantri Square in Malleswaram and Forum Value Mall in Whitefield are among the 18 malls, according to a senior fire department officer.
The crackdown comes after the Karnataka High Court directed authorities last September to inspect high-rises to ensure they are equipped with fire safety mechanisms. DGP (Fire Force) MN Reddi told ET these malls were found – in an ongoing audit of high-rise buildings in the city – to have violated fire safety norms as per the National Building Code of 2005.
Encroachment is the major violation. “High-rise buildings have to mandatorily provide minimum space (setback) for fire engines and emergency vehicles to go around on all sides. The malls provide setback at the time of getting the clearance certificate but over a period of time, they allowed encroachments in the form of vehicle parking, stalls and other obstructions,” he said.
According to the National Building Code, no high-rise building can get an occupancy certificate without a clearance certificate from the fire department. “These malls witness heavy footfalls. So, it is important to ensure fire safety,” he said.
These malls showed compliance at the time they were given clearance certificate by the fire department, Reddi said.
In addition to encroachments, nine malls were found to have placed gas cylinders right in the driveway for vehicles and other crowded locations. “We’ve asked them to shift the cylinders within seven days,” an officer said.
Prestige Group CMD Irfan Razack said: “We are concerned about fire safety . There are some defects in sprinklers at Forum Value Mall, which will be set right immediately .”
Vishal Mirchandani, CEO, Retail and Commercial at Brigade Group that owns Orion Mall, confirmed receipt of a notice. “We have got some suggestions and will implement them.”
Aditya Sikri, CEO, Retail and Commercial, Mantri Developers, said: “Mantri Square has always been in compliance with the law. We take recommendations from authorities seriously.”