Joint committee to inspect high-rise buildings’ safety

RAWALPINDI: Cantt Executive Officer (CEO) Faheem Zafar Khan on Sunday said that a joint committee of the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), Rescue-1122, and traders’ representatives was being formed to inspect the safety measures of high-rise buildings and their basements.“The committee would have the mandate to inspect buildings, especially multi-storied plazas and pass appropriate recommendations to the CEO for taking action like imposing fine and sealing insecure buildings for not installing functional fire-fighting gadgets,” he said. Faheem said that the RCB had no technical expertise about fire fighting so it decided to constitute a body in collaboration with a rescue team to make the entire exercise effective and useful. The decision to set up the body came after the Rescue-1122 recently declared 17 high rise buildings situated in the Cantonment and Rawal Town areas “insecure” for residential and commercial activities.During a survey, the Rescue-1122 found that there was lack of safety measures, like ineffective fire-fighting gadgets and smoke alarms, besides no emergency exits in the buildings. The rescue teams comprising technical staff after the survey of the multi-storey plazas, had issued notices to the administration of 17 buildings, including Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA), Poonch House Complex, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), State Life Insurance Company, three allied hospitals, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ), Holy Family Hospital (HFH), Pakistan International Airlines, and Ghakkar Plaza to ensure the installation of fully functional fire-fighting equipment, smoke alarms, and safe exits in these buildings.Talking to the media personnel, Rescue-1122 District Emergency Officer Abdul Rehman said that on the completion of survey, the administration identified buildings and directed them to adopt required safety measures to avoid any untoward incident. He said that there was fear of loss to lives and property due to lack of inappropriate safety measures in tackling fire incidents in an effective manner, as thousands of people daily visit these buildings. Meanwhile, a number of customers visiting the shops operating in basements of these multi-storey plazas, especially at the Adamjee Road Saddar, said that they always feel fear to stay in these places. 

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