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Only 1 staircase: That was the rule till 2016

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/only-1-staircase-that-was-the-rule-till-2016/articleshow/66126442.cms

October 9, 2018

Bagish Jha | TNN | Oct 9, 2018, 10:00 IST

Picture used for representational purpose only


GURGAON : Residents of Sector 70’s Tulip Orange blamed poor engineering and lack of
proper fire safety equipment in the building for the fire that broke out on Sunday night and
claimed a woman’s life.
The residents also lashed out at government agencies for giving occupation certificate (OC)
and fire NoC to the project despite glaring gaps in infrastructure. “The building had just one
staircase. We could not go down because of the flames and smoke coming out of the
electric shaft,” said Kushal Singh, who lives on the 9th floor. “Her life could have been
saved, had there been another staircase.”

Fire safety officer IS Kashyap admitted that the locked gate to the terrace proved fatal. The
fire department has the facilities to rescue hundreds of people from the terrace a high-rise
building with the help of hydraulic platforms or aerial ladders. “People could not reach the
terrace, our teams rescued them from different floors,” he said.

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Tulip MD Praveen Jain said, “The possession in the building was handed over in 2013 but
the building plans were approved much before that. Then, the government used to give
approval to smaller buildings with just one staircase. The building was constructed as per
the approved plan,” said Jain. He said the electricity in the affected tower would be
restored shortly and till then they are providing accommodation to families in other flats.

In 2013, when Tulip Orange was given occupation certificate (OC), one staircase in a high-
rise building was enough to get the OC as per the norms back then, claimed a DTCP
official.

“It was only in 2016 that the government tweaked the norms, making it mandatory to have
two staircases in a building,” said the official. But, buildings, which had got OC before
February 2016, like Tulip Orange, did not have to make any change in its structures.
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Kashyap, on the other hand, said the fire department had given the NOC on the basis of
the building plan approved. “We cannot make any change in the building. We just check if a
building has been constructed in accordance with the approved plan and if it has all
necessary fire equipment,” he added.

While the residents alleged that fire equipment was not functioning, Kashyap claimed fire
hydrants installed on the premises were used to douse the flames. “Fire cylinders would not
have been enough to contain the fire,” he said, without saying anything about their
condition.

But, he blamed the developer for turning a 6km-wide lane around the building into parking,
which obstructed the movement of fire tenders. “According to the norms, a building, with a
height of 15 metres or more, needs to have a 6-metre-wide lane around the tower. Though
the road was constructed as per the norms, it was later turned into a covered parking by
them (developer),” said Kashyap.

Tulip societies question government’s fire safety monitoring,


demand checks
Shakir Mir | TNN | Oct 9, 2018, 07.27 AM IST
Gurgaon: In the aftermath of Monday’s fire at Tulip Orange, over 3,000 residents of nearby
highrise societies, all of which have been built by Tulip Infrastructure, have expressed their
worries about fire safety standards in their own societies.
Residents of Tulip White, Ivory and Violet have all been asking questions about the level of
fire safety adherence in their apartment blocks, prompting maintenance firms to start
inspection of all equipment post haste, to assuage concerns.

Residents also blamed authorities for issuing occupation and completion certificates to
builders, without properly inspecting the sites. “I don’t blame the builder here at all,” said
Vipul Ahuja of Tulip White. “The buck stops squarely with the administration. The developer
simply did what it had to. It’s the job of authorities — the fire inspector, Huda and MCG —
to ensure everything is in place and all safety standards are adhered to, before OCs and
CCs are issued. Residents of Tulip White are now fearful. They want to know how much
we’re honouring fire safeguards.”

Residents of Tulip White said their no objection certificate (NoC) for fire safety was withheld
by the government this year. “We’ve approached the authorities on countless occasion.
Every time, they come up with new excuses. They have been telling us the names of our
buildings on paper don’t match with those on site. This, after issuing the NoC for the past
three years. The mismatch in names was not a problem then, but is now. How did they
issue us NOCs in the past?” said another resident who did not wish to be named.

Residents of Tulip Ivory said they had to check their own fire safety preparations.
“Suddenly, it seems a new awareness has dawned upon us,” said Anand Kumar, a
resident. “Just imagine, Tulip Lemon, the newly-built apartment block nearby that comes
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under affordable housing, has two staircases. Orange, which is a higher-end property, has
one, and that too along the electricity shaft. How is this possible?”

In Tulip Violet, residents said they are going to approach the maintenance firm to check if
all fire safety protocols are met. “I don’t know technicalities but after this, we’re afraid,” said
Arpit Saxena, a resident.

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