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CCP doesn’t ask for fire NoC from traders

PANAJI: The Corporation of the City of Panaji, which deals with issuance and renewal of trade licence for running commercial units in city limits, does not ask for fire NoC from the traders when trade licences are renewed.
This is a violation of fire safety norms on the part of CCP. Though the fire department has adopted strict rules vis-à-vis the NoC, the CCP allows many units to run business without having fire NoC.
There are several commercial high-rise buildings in the city and at Patto Plaza that function without no-objection certificates from the fire department. The certificate has not been made mandatory by the CCP, giving a leeway to the buildings with such an exemption to run their business for decades.
A CCP official said that they renew the licence based on the documents that traders produce, and there is no provision in the CCP Act to make obligatory for traders to produce fire NoC at the time of renewal. But the CCP asks the traders to submit documents like copy of original trade licence and lease agreement including a written application.
“The CCP is concerned about revenue, and if we make fire NoC compulsory for all occupants/traders of a high-rise building then it will take a lot of time. Also it will be difficult for us to generate revenue,” he said.
Ruling out the possibility of making the fire NoC mandatory to traders during renewal of trade licence, he said that it is impractical to inspect each and every commercial unit as there are over 5000 of them.
“But I will act if any complaints are received on non-compliance to fire safety norms,” he said.
But the fire department is very strict about the fire safety and the NoC. An officer from the department said that very few commercial buildings in the city and at Patto have complied with fire safety norms. This is a very serious issue, as lives of many people working in the offices are in danger.
He said they have cancelled the fire NoC of those commercial units whose fire safety system was found totally dysfunctional.
“Despite repeated notices nothing has been done so far. Unfortunately, we can only send them reminders as we do not have any authority to impose fine,” he rued.
Though the fire department is responsible for ensuring fire safety, it does not have powers to enforce fire safety regulations on any high-rise buildings. It comes into picture only when a civic body approaches it for fire clearance certificates in case of a new high-rise building or for renewal of trade licence.
The department scrutinises the building plan, and if approved, issues a no-objection certificate when the building is ready for occupation.

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