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Include Safety Regulations For Vulnerable Buildings In DCPR-2034: Bombay High Court Tells Maharashtra Govt

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
13 April 2022 6:15 AM GMT
Include Safety Regulations For Vulnerable Buildings In DCPR-2034: Bombay High Court Tells Maharashtra Govt
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The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to take steps to include the 2009 Draft Special Regulations for Safety of Buildings in the 2034 Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR).The division bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MG Sewlikar took strong exception to the State's affidavit citing destruction of documents in the 2012 Mantralay fire as...

The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to take steps to include the 2009 Draft Special Regulations for Safety of Buildings in the 2034 Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR).

The division bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MG Sewlikar took strong exception to the State's affidavit citing destruction of documents in the 2012 Mantralay fire as a reason for not being able to decide on implementing the draft fire regulations. The State further cited the passage of 13 years to state that they were no longer "suitable" or "advisable."
"The apathy of the state is telling. The state, in its affidavit, refers to a fire at Mantralaya in which all documents from 2009 were destroyed. The state says there was no deliberate omission on its part, but because of destruction of records due to the fire, the issue remained unaddressed," the High Court said.
After the State said that this would hamper the DPCR and UDCPR.
"We need to activate the Urban Development department for incorporating special regulations by amendment in DCPR and UDCPR. Let an appropriate study and research be conducted by the Government with the help of experts, and all steps following the procedure of law to be taken to include the special regulations in DCPR and UDCPR. List this PIL on 18th July first on board...," the court said.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Abha Singh in 2018 in which she stated that a notice was issued in February 2009, regarding Draft Special Regulations for Buildings Vulnerable to Manmade Disasters, which included norms for fire safety in the wake of the 26/11 attacks of 2008.
While the matter was processed by the Deputy Director Town Planning, a final notification was yet to be issued and in the course of almost 9 years, several disasters have taken place, including the Kamla Mill tragedy and bomb blasts in Maharashtra, the plea argued by Advocate Aditya Pratap alleged.
"This is another case where the state has utterly failed to justify its complete inaction. Notwithstanding the fire, the state didn't find it difficult to come up with the 2034 Development Plan," it said during the hearing on Monday.
In its affidavit filed in High Court on Monday, the state government submitted that it proposed to constitute another expert panel to come up with fresh safety regulations that will factor in "advanced technology."
The High Court, however, dismissed the submission saying the state should have made earnest endeavors to implement safety guidelines.
It said the National Building Code (NBC) too provided for implementation of such safety norms.
The High Court said it should be appraised about the developments on July 18, 2022.

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