After the fire at Mantralaya, there has been a lot of activity in the 57-year-old main building of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). All the passages near the four main corridors of the building were promptly cleaned up following orders to the effect from Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. The installation of firefighting equipment worth Rs 1.68 crore is expected to start in a few days. The clearing of junk material from the passages began near the Municipal Secretary’s office on the third flour of the building. The junk was obstructing the approach to a staircase.
“The old furniture, computer printing machinery and documents were kept in the passage for the last eight years and everything has been cleaned up,” Ambarish Galinde, chief auditor, PMC, said. “We have been given a separate room to keep the record documents. Now there is nothing left in the passage.”
Pathak had issued written orders to clear the passages in the building on a war footing. “We are taking no chances in case of any kind of fire accident,” Pathak said. Executive Engineer, Building and Maintenance, Sandeep Khadawe said the installation of firefighting equipment might start next week.
“Like the Audit Department, we have also cleaned up the passages near three other staircases,” Khadawe said.
“The idea is to start the installation of smoke detectors and water sprinklers in the passages in the next eight days. A sum of Rs 1.72 crore has already been approved by the Standing Committee last week.” According to Khadawe, the entire work would be completed in three-and-half months. The contract for the firefighting system has been given to H D Firecon Techno Private Ltd. V S Deshmukh, partner, H D Firecon Techno Private Ltd, said 1,400 sprinklers, 1,100 fire detectors and 15 fire hydrants would be installed in and around the PMC main building.
“The PMC has given six months to finish the work,” Deshmukh said. “We shall try to complete it before the deadline. He said an underground water storage tank and an overhead tank would also be constructed.
Mayor’s surprise visit
Mayor Vaishali Bankar recently decided to inspect the corridors in the PMC building to see if these had been properly cleared of junk. She also pointed out some wrongly done wiring work in various departments. The Mayor also asked for the removal of some cupboards near the staircase. “The electric wiring and telephone cables in many departments are not properly fitted and may cause an accident. These cable works should be properly covered to avoid any kind of untoward incident,” she said.