Owners of high-rise buildings in the state, without the final ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC), will face the blow of legal prosecution raised by the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department. High-rise buildings or multi-storey buildings that are 15 meters and above for commercial and 18 meters and above for residential purposes receive permission only after the approval of the fire services department.
A provisional NOC is given to the building owners by the department along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Upon completion of construction, the builder has to apply for the final NOC with the fire services department. The fire safety measures of the building to be included as per the building rules are checked by the department first and then the owner will be given the final NOC. Even the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is permitted to give the occupancy certificate (OC) to the building only after considering the final NOC.
Between 2007 and 2010, about 700 high-rise buildings took the provisional NOC from the department. However, only 460 of them including 180 hotels and hospitals received granted provisional NOC in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. The department has, therefore, proposed to sue the erring buildings by prosecuting the owners of such buildings as per the section 31 of the AP Fire Services Act 1999. However, before the legal proceedings the builders will be sent notices to take the final NOC. Till then, the buildings will be declared as unsafe. The legal proceedings have been even launched by the fire services department against some of the incorrect buildings which faced fire accidents due to inadequate fire safety measures.