The Goa fire services had carried out an inspection on around 400+ government office buildings and found out that all of them have lacked the fire safety equipment which posing the risk to the people working on those offices as well as to visitors who visit these offices frequently for their work. The major concern is the government record which is the most valuable information bank is also at the high risk.
The places include the old education building and Junta house along the 18th june road in Panaji. The department has inspected 452 out of 487 government offices till January this year. As per Fire Services Rules and National Building Code of India, installation of minimum fire safety equipment is mandatory for all buildings. Fire department had asked public works department and owners of respective government buildings in whose name occupancy certificates were issued to comply with its order and implement all fire safety measures and submit an action-taken report.
It was found that there were no fire hydrants in some government offices while some had no provision of water pumps. Also, in some government buildings sprinkler systems were found to be non-functional. In some cases, glasses of fire hose cabinets were broken and some equipment missing.
Records obtained from the fire department show that Curchorem leads the list with 66 government offices not adhering to fire safety norms followed by Valpoi with 62 government offices, Bicholim with 54 such buildings, Canacona with 36, Ponda with 31, Old Goa with 30 buildings, Mapusa with 25, Pilerne with 24, Vasco with 22, Pernem and Verna 21 each and Kundaim (11). There are 22 unsafe government buildings in Panaji.
According to fire officer, old education building and Junta house located along 18th June Road have no fire prevention system in place like fire hydrants, fire detection system and hose reels. He also said that in Patto most of the government buildings had adhered to fire safety measures but have failed to keep them functional.
Even the high court of Goa does not lag behind in this as Fire-fighting equipment at all three buildings of High Court of Bombay at Goa in Altinho-Panaji were found to be non-functional during the inspection carried out by fire services department. Fire department on February 12 made a recommended to assistant registrar of administration and protocol Pralhad Kenavdekar for immediate implementation of fire safety measures. : During the inspection carried out by a team led by deputy director of fire and emergency services Nitin Raikar in December last year, it was found that portable fire extinguishers were due for refilling whereas smoke detectors, manual call point, fire alarm system and carbon dioxide (CO2) flooding system in record room were non-functional. Also, no fire hydrants and underground static water storage tank were found.
Speaking to the media, Raikar said that recommendations have been made to the assistant registrar of administration and protocol for immediate maintenance and repair of entire fire fighting system. He also said that Kenavdekar has been asked to install external fire hydrants at building courtyard with separate provision of underground water storage tank connected to fire pump to supply water for fighting fires. Raikar said, “We have also asked assistant registrar of administration and protocol to train staff in the use of fire-fighting equipment.”
The fire service department is doing their job by initiating this drive against the people / department who are not complying to the fire safety norms due to various reasons and they will look into it that the things will be sorted out soon.