MCD shifting to new centre without full fire safety clearance?

By Prathiba Raju, IANS
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - The city’s civic authority is in the process of shifting to its spanking new highrise which was inaugurated seven months ago. But some parts of the complex have yet to get fire safety clearance, a Delhi Fire Service (DFS) official has revealed.

Speaking to IANS, Deputy Chief Fire Officer A.K. Sharma said: “We are yet to give the safety clearance certificate for all the blocks of the Doctor Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Centre. Of the five blocks, only one block has got the safety clearance so far.”

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) new civic centre building on Vivekanand Marg, formerly Minto Road, was inaugurated by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram April 22. It was constructed at a cost of Rs.650 crore.

The highrise has some smaller 6-storeyed blocks at the back. These comprise blocks A, B, C and D, while the 28-storey main building is block E, according to an official.

“Among the five blocks A and E are connected with a bridge made of iron, it is a temporary arrangement as it is easy for the municipal commissioner to reach the mayor office and vice versa. Apart from this, other blocks are separate not connected with any other block,” a senior MCD official said.

He acknowledged that MCD is yet to get fire safety clearance certificate for the A,B,C, D blocks. “The project manager of the building should get it cleared. The MCD officials have nothing to do with this,” he added.

According to the Delhi Fire Service, the building does not comply with fire safety norms.

Sharma said the civic authorities can occupy the block which has got NOC. “We will write to them if they flout the rules by occupying other blocks.”

Sharma also said an NOC is issued after a two-day inspection procedure. The building is thoroughly inspected on the first day, and the safety measures verified on the next day, he said.

When IANS contacted Jagdish Mamgain, chairman of works committee, MCD, he said: “The process of shifting the municipal office that has about 3,000 staff and 20 departments will be carried out in two phases, and the entire civic centre will be shifted to the new civic centre by Dec 8.”

He said the offices of the mayor, standing committee chairman, leader of the house and leader of opposition will continue to function from the Town Hall in Chandni Chowk for sometime.

Contradicting the fire department’s and MCD official’s statement on getting NOC, Mamgain said he was sure that the MCD has received the required no objection certificates for the all the blocks.

“There are around 3,000 MCD staff and they will occupy the block numbers A and E. The B, C and D blocks will be rented out to the income tax department,” Mamgain added.

The new civic centre, built on over 12 acres land, is expected to get more than 20,000 footfalls a day. The complex has eight escalators, a 1,000-seat auditorium, an art gallery and a restaurant.

The 112-metre tall building is higher than the 13th century Qutab Minar, which is 72.5-metre tall.

(Prathiba Raju can be contacted at

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