Pune: One of the most crowded places, Fashion street, under the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) jurisdiction, is not safe for people in case of a fire incident. The joint fire audit report submitted by the Chief Fire Officer, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Fire Brigade Superintendent of PCB was discussed at the special board meeting held on Monday, chaired by Brigadier Rajiv Sethi, President, PCB, and Dr DN Yadav, Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The audit report says the market does not have sufficient exit points in case there is a fire and people have to be evacuated.
“It is a very serious matter in respect to the Fashion Street report submitted by the fire department of PMC. Fashion Street has become a risky place for fire incidents. We will be collecting information about owners of all the stalls and take action against any illegal stalls,” said Brigadier Rajiv Sethi.
However, the shop owners have an opportunity to give their stand on February 8. Brigadier Rajiv Sethi has ordered the Revenue Department to collect information about how many shops are authorised and unauthorised on February 10. The board will take a decision after the given date.
“During the meeting, it was discussed in detail regarding the hazardous situation of Fashion Street, which may cause any fatal incidence. The board found that keeping in view the recent fire incidences that happened in different cities of the country, it was required to do a Fire Safety Assessment or audit,” said Dr DN Yadav, CEO of the Board.
According to the official, in 1997, MG Road was overturned by the unauthorised vendors. Accordingly, the administration provided these vendors stalls of five feet by four feet and totally 565 shops came under the agreement. However, in the last 15 to 20 years, officials of the board or public representatives have not paid any attention to this issue. Due to this, there are number of unauthorised vendors occupying the space. It was found that those who had been given space to run shops, have given it on rent or sold it without administration permission. So, the area has become crowded.
Also, some shop owners have taken electricity in illegal manner.
The report points out that many shopkeepers use plastic curtains as partitions, which are hazardous in the event of a fire, and the narrow gangways make it difficult to move. There are stalls outside the market serving as cafeterias or hotels and use fuels like LPG and kerosene, the report says.
According to the records and earlier verification carried out by the revenue staff of PCB, the place is not safe if any fire incident takes place. Also, it is difficult for a fire vehicle or ambulance to reach there due to narrow and congested roads.