No shop at Sarabha Nagar market has fire safety NOC: RTI reply

Market

Not a single shopkeeper in the Sarabha Nagar main market, also called 'Kipps Market' which stays abuzz till late night, has got no-objection fire safety certificate from the Divisional Fire Office.

This fact came to light after RTI activist Arvind Sharma filed an RTI application on January 7 this year, seeking copies of NOC certificates issued and a list of defaulters who never got NOC issued.

"Not even a single NOC has been issued till date to any shopkeeper in Sarabha Nagar market. Shopkeepers are responsible for getting NOC registered," said the RTI reply from the office of the sub-divisional fire officer, dated January 22.

Sharma told Ludhiana Newsline, "I was expecting a list of defaulters but here the whole market is a defaulter as not even a single shopkeeper has got NOC. On the top of it, owners are using these SCFs (shops-cum-flats as per the original scheme of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust) as SCOs (shops-cum-offices) and have also made semi-basements which are against building bylaws of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation."

Kipps, a famous restaurant at the market, had caught fire two times in the past few years and recently on January 4, another eatery, Nando's, caught fire in which the whole kitchen was gutted but no one was injured.

Bhupinder Singh, assistant divisional fire officer, said, "This fact has come to our notice only now. Next week action will be taken. Shopkeepers will be issued notices."

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