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HC raps TPDDL for providing electricity to coaching centres without fire safety

twitter-logoPTI | July 29, 2019 | Updated 18:22 IST

New Delhi, Jul 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday pulled up the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPPDL) for providing electricity to coaching centres in Mukherjee Nagar here without fire safety clearances. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said that discoms and its officers were "turning a blind eye" to the huge electricity consumption by such institutions and were "doing nothing". "Have you taken any action against any coaching centre in the last five years? People are (moving) so slowly. The approach of your officers is -- 'my children are not studying there'. "All these centres have so many air conditioning units. Any increase in load would lead to sparking or short circuit, resulting in a fire, like it happened in Surat. All coaching centres without permission of municipal corporation or fire clearance, their electricity should be cut forthwith," the court said. The bench said the persons running these centres were not poor and were carrying out a "purely business/ commercial activity". The court was hearing two PILs against the illegal running of coaching centres in Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi and a plea raising concerns about lack of fire safety measures in schools in the national capital. On the issue of fire safety in schools in the city, Delhi government additional standing counsel Gautam Narayan told the court that there were around 5,495 schools in the national capital of which 3,008 were under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Education. Of the 3,008, 200 schools were in default of fire safety measures and action, including withdrawal of recognition, to be taken was being considered. On fire safety in coaching centres, Narayan told the court that the fire department had carried out an inspection of these institutions in May and June and sought two weeks time to file an affidavit indicating the results. The bench, thereafter, directed the fire department, TPDDL and the municipal corporations to carry out a fresh survey of the schools, coaching and tuition centres under their jurisdiction to identify those operating illegally, without fire safety clearance or other mandatory permissions and were using more electricity than was permissible. The court directed the authorities to file affidavits indicating the details it has asked for and listed the matter for further hearing on September 18. The bench said that coaching/tuition centres be given an opportunity to conform to the law, but if they do not, then to shut them down. PTI HMP SKV SA

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