Delhi govt directs hotels, resto-bars, clubs to ensure proper fire safety norms

- June 7, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The fire department presently grants no objection certificates (NOC) only to restaurants and eateries having area of 90 square metres and above

Sorrento, the Italian restaurant

The Delhi government has mandated that hotels, resto-bars, clubs, and bonded warehouses dealing with liquor must have proper fire safety arrangements due to a rise in fire incidents in the city, officials said on Thursday.

This directive follows a fire tragedy in a private hospital last month in East Delhi, where seven newborns died.

Also Read: Delhi sees over 138% spike in fire cases this month compared to May 2023

The Delhi government’s excise department recently issued guidelines stating that resto-bars and eateries with an area less than 90 square meters must also take all necessary precautions and safety measures to prevent fires. Failure to comply may result in suspension or cancellation of their licenses.

Currently, the fire department grants no objection certificates (NOC) only to establishments with an area of 90 square meters and above. The excise department now requires an affidavit regarding compliance with fire safety measures from those under this threshold, according to a recently issued circular.

Rule 51(10)(h) of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, requires an NOC from the fire department for retail licenses allowing liquor consumption on the premises.

Also read: Flames spread through the entire hospital within minutes, heard 3-4 explosions, say eyewitnesses of Baby Care Hospital tragedy in East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar

“Due to the severe heat waves in Delhi, several fire incidents have occurred, prompting a review of the NOC issuance process for restaurants and eateries,” said the circular.

The excise department has directed all existing licensees with a gross floor area of 90 square meters and above to renew their fire NOC before it expires and to adhere to all safety norms.

According to the excise department, there are around 1,000 HCR (hotel, club, restaurant) category premises in the city, including nearly 700 resto-bars, about 165 hotels, and 50 clubs with excise licenses.

The Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, also mandate that licensed premises and bonded warehouses must have adequate fire safety equipment and arrangements to handle any fire incident. Warehouse licensees must submit an affidavit confirming their fire safety arrangements, officials said.

The excise department has also instructed bonded warehouse licensees to ensure they have adequate firefighting equipment and maintain it regularly. Given that liquor is highly inflammable, no stock or spillage should be left unattended to prevent fire accidents, the department stated.

Additionally, bonded warehouse licensees must have valid fire insurance, conduct periodic checks of electric fittings, and keep premises free of hazardous materials, among other safety measures. (With inputs from PTI)