Safety of Amdavadis is certainly not a priority for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, reports Ahmedabad Mirror.

Every fourth high-rise in this bustling ‘Smart City’ is without a fire NOC (no objection certificate), but the AMC seems least concerned.

The fire and estate departments of the corporation are busy passing the buck when it comes to issuing warnings. Worse, even the residents are either unaware or unconcerned about the lack of fire safety in their buildings.

According to Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Service (AFES), till October last year, there were 2,705 high-rises in the city. Of these, about 736 buildings were built last year and so they have the NOC which is requisite for Building Use (BU) permission. Of the other older high rises, 1,207 have a valid fire safety NOC.

This leaves 762 high-rises without a fire NOC, where no fire safety audit has been carried out. Here, the fire suppression systems have not been checked by department and it is not known if these systems are capable of preventing fire from spreading till the fire vehicles reach the spot.

MF Dastoor, Chief Fire officer (CFO) of Ahmedabad said, “Approximately 300 of these high-rises fall in AMC area and 400 under the jurisdiction of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA).”

He said while the commercial entities renew their NOCs, the residential apartments do not do so. While the fire department has a free hand to seal commercial entities for violations, it is not authorized to even impose a fine, much less seal the houses of people.

An official said only a heavy fine can force people to comply with law. If the building does not have a fire NOC, the building should be declared unsafe. They will then not get insurance benefits or sell the apartments. This is the only way out.