Just 400 eateries and restaurants in the city have an NOC from the Delhi Fire Service.
New Delhi: A major fire in a Mumbai pub that claimed 14 lives has raised concerns of safety at thousands of eateries and restaurants in the national capital as just 400 of them have an NOC from the Delhi Fire Service.
Delhi Fire Service (DFS) officials said that according to the law, eateries with a seating capacity of less than 50 do not need a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the police and fire departments.
After the massive blaze at the “1 Above” pub in Mumbai in which 14 people were killed, fire department officials said only civic authorities can answer questions about the status of fire preparedness of restaurants.
“More than 80 per cent of the restaurants claim that they have less than 50 seats. But who is there to check whether there are only 49 people inside?” an official questioned.
He said only three restaurants in Hauz Khas have an NOC from the DFS. In Khan Market, only four restaurants have it while in Connaught Place, the situation is better with over 110 restaurants having NOCs from the department.
“Since rest of the restaurants claim to have a seating capacity of less than 50 people, we are not even aware about whether they have fire exits, proper staircases and other firefighting measures in place in case a blaze starts,” the fire department official said.
Civic authorities say they carry out surprise inspections and take appropriate action if a violation of rules is found.
Old Delhi has a lot of small eateries, in areas like Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate and Daryaganj. These areas are administered by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation. “For eateries and small-capacity restaurants, the NOC and the licence is obtained from the respective civic body’s health department,” a senior official of the corporation said.
Some of the major restaurants come under the ambit of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation including in areas like Hauz Khas, Greater Kailash, Safdarjung Enclave, and Rajouri Garden, besides others.