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Wide access roads, proximity to fire station a must!

Saturday, March 10, 2012
By Gajanan Khergamker

It’s finally happening. Keeping in mind the potential risk of fire and issues of access to relief measures, the future of high-rises will now depend on how wide the access road is and how far lies the nearest fire station.

The environment minisry has made the approval of disaster management authority, a prerequisite for buildings with more than four floors. The move is espected to have huge bearing on the sprawling yet haphazard residential growth in the city.  The movement of rescue workers and equipment during a natural disaster or a mishap needs wide roads and proximity to fire stations which are now considered a must for multi-storey structures.

So, the proposed buildings will have to meet the required conditions in order to avail environment clearance. The ministry has prescribed the minimum width for access roads for getting the environment clearance. A building of up to 30 metres, or four storeys, will be allowed only if the access road is 15-18 m wide. For a structure higher than 60m, the road has to be at least 30m wide. Also, for a 45m tall building, the fire station shouldn’t be more than 10 km away. For those above 60 m, the distance is 2 km.

Haphazard vertical growth irrespective of traffic congestion or disaster management norms being in place has been the hallmark of construction in the city. The aim here is to beable to successfully meet the challenges of disaster management and traffic congestion which risk thwarting public life completely.

The clearance from disaster management authority has to come at two levels — before the work begins and at the time of occupancy. The decision is mandatory as it has been issued under the Environment Protection Act. Predictably, sources maintain the conditions would land up hiking project costs even further.

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