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Maharashtra government sets up panel to review fire safety rules

The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to set up a committee by 19 August to prepare a report on the implementation of the 2009 draft fire safety rules and regulations for buildings and structures vulnerable to disasters.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik said the committee should be made up of experts from the field of fire safety who will be given two months to submit its report to the state government.

The bench noted, “The draft rules are of the year 2009. We are now in the year 2022. The committee shall see if we need to improve the rules and our system.”

The move is in response to public interest litigation filed by advocate Abha Singh seeking enforcement of the draft special regulations for fire safety in buildings vulnerable to man-made disasters. The regulations were issued in 2009 in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the Maharashtra government, told the court during an earlier hearing that the government was in the process of including the rules established in 2009 safety draft in the new Development Control and Planning Regulations (DCPR).