ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has upgraded Emergency, Rescue and Disaster Management besides regularly organising mock drills to check preparedness for emergency situations but completely failed to implement all required fire safety measures in high rise buildings in the federal capital.
The CDA fire and rescue department has four specialised Bronto snorkels and 35 fire engines at its fleet. The snorkels, which were imported from Finland in 2006, are hydraulic with aerial ladders. Two of the ladders can go as high as 68 metres, while the other two can reach up to 29 metres.
However, these ladders cannot reach the tops of all highrise buildings in Islamabad including the Telecom Tower and the ISE and Centaurus buildings. After the regulations were issued in January 2011, buildings were required to implement all required fire safety measures and install specified fire equipment within six months but that has not happened.
Sources said that CDA had conducted a survey to check fire safety measures in the buildings, which covered around 60% of all commercial buildings and only 15 to 20% of industrial buildings. But the result of the survey revealed very low level of compliance with the regulations so far.
An official of the CDA said that myriad notices — of non-compliance — have been issued to building owners who have not ensured the required fire safety measures.
The sources said that CDA’s own offices lack the required number of fire extinguishers and fire exits so what to expect from other building owners.
Fines are imposed in case a building owner fails to ensure provision of fire safety measures after three notices and violators can be fined up to Rs 500,000 but CDA falls short to take concrete step since regulations in this regard came into effect.
It should be mentioned here that CDA preparedness for any untoward situations and Emergency, Rescue and Disaster Management rehabilitation and up gradation was something commendable but non-implementation of fire safety regulation was more disappointing.