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Plea for action against hotels violating fire safety norms; HC seeks AAP govt, MCDs' stand

Plea for action against hotels violating fire safety norms; HC seeks AAP govt, MCDs' stand

New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the response of the AAP government and the three municipal corporations in the city on a plea for immediate action against hotels or guesthouses flouting fire safety and other norms.Referring to the recent fire at a hotel in Karol Bagh here that claimed 17 lives, the application by a lawyer has sought directions to the Delhi government and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to take strict action against the officials whose negligence resulted in the incident.A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao issued notice to the Delhi government and the three corporations, asking them to file their replies to the plea filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava, who has also sought payment of compensation to the families of those who died in the fire.Apart from that, Bhargava has urged the court to direct the authorities to frame and implement a policy for periodic inspections of all community halls, hotels and guesthouses in the national capital to ensure such establishments comply with the provisions of the law, especially fire safety and structural safety norms.The application was filed by him in his pending main petition against the running of illegal community or banquet halls in the national capital.During the brief hearing, the lawyer told the bench that inaction of the authorities has led to the incident in question and if steps were not taken, a major catastrophe may occur.He told the court that he had moved the petition against illegal banquet halls two years ago but till date, no action has been taken by the authorities to address the issue.His application said the inaction of the authorities had forced him to file an application seeking contempt action against the officials concerned for not ensuring compliance of fire and structural safety norms. The bench directed the Delhi government and the corporations to indicate their stand before the next date of hearing on March 13. PTI HMP SKV IJT