Chennai: Fire safety management blueprint soon

Chennai: Five months after the infamous Chennai Silks fire accident that affected normalcy in T Nagar, the business districts of Chennai, particularly T Nagar, Broadway and Pursawalkam will soon have a dedicated comprehensive fire safety management plan. The Chennai metropolitan development authority (CMDA) has invited consultants to submit a detailed project report (DPR) proposal that will study fire safety issues and congestion reported in these localities.

The CMDA member secretary has formed a committee to look into the aspects, the committee comprising officials and experts in urban development and fire safety. The draft plan is likely to be ready by next year, said an informed CMDA official. The DPR will be a blueprint for the business districts of Chennai including Sowcarpet and Vadapalani that has witnessed fatal fire accidents and building collapses in recent months. The DPR will also look into concept of narrow roads, positioning of fire extinguishers and installation of fire hydrant systems in arterial locations. Based on previous difficulties faced by fire service personnel, the DPR will be revised. The consultants can also recommend new solutions to help commercial hubs in Chennai stay free from man-made and natural disasters. Aspects like evacuation process and movement of vehicles during emergencies are also parameters that are to be part of this first of its kind report, another informed official said.

The city corporation will share details of areas that have more contiguous buildings. For instance, north Chennai comprising Broadway and Parrys will also be examined by the consultant and ideas related to traffic congestion and fire safety incorporated in the new study report, sources said.  Such studies should have been taken up long ago, but still it is never too late as the fire safety situation in T Nagar and Broadway are alarming, says civic activist Aarani Srinivasan. “Whenever a fire accident happens the authorities talk about it and serve notices, but there is no follow up,” said a police inspector who has served in Esplanade and was a witness to fire accidents on Bunder street. 

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