Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced yesterday that a mandatory structural, electrical and fire safety audit would be conducted at 16 government buildings in the city that are over 50 years old. The Public Works Department (PWD) had listed 96 government buildings for the audit, but the first phase will cover 16 buildings.
Pawar’s announcement came while addressing the media after a crucial meeting with top government and PMC officials, where the decision was taken to conduct the audit. The Central Building, New Administrative Building, Vidhan Bhavan and the office of the commissioner of police are among the 16 buildings listed for the safety audit. The decision came after the massive blaze recently at Mantralaya, which claimed lives, damaged three floors of the building and destroyed government files.
“The PWD has listed 96 government buildings in the city, out of which 25 are under 50 years old. For the first phase, 16 buildings have been selected for the safety audit,” Pawar said. He added that seven squads would be deployed to undertake the structural safety audit and carry out ‘non destructive testing’, under which the columns, beams and roof would be checked. Repair work would be started immediately if any serious structural lapses are found.
The Dy CM said that besides the structural and electrical safety audit, a fire audit would also be done at all state level offices in the city as well as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and ZP buildings. “The fire audit would only be done by the 13 companies which have been approved by the PMC,” Pawar said. He added that it would be mandatory to conduct all three audits — structural, electrical and fire safety — at the 16 listed buildings as well as the PMC, PCMC and Zilla Parishad buildings beforeJuly 15.
Regarding the destroyed files at the Mantralaya, the Dy CM gave assurance that all files would be recovered. “Those who have lost files can make complaints at SETU facilitation centre at the respective district level so their files can be recovered with the help of the finance department, which generally has records that come to various departments of the Mantralaya,” Pawar said.