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Surat Municipal Corporation Sealed Textile Market for Fire Norms Violation

Over a dozen textile markets located on Ring Road, Sahara Darwaja and Salabatpura have been sealed by Surat Municipal Corporation’s (SMC) fire and emergency services department for violating fire safety norms in the last one month.

Over a dozen textile markets located on Ring Road, Sahara Darwaja and Salabatpura havebeen sealed by Surat MunicipalCorporation’s (SMC) fire and emergency servicesdepartment for violating fire safety normsin the last one month.The action follows textile market managements’failure to adhere to fire safety norms in the aftermath ofTakshashila fire tragedy in May.

Official sources said notices were issuedto over 100 textile markets in the cityasking them to install firesafety equipment. Many markets followedthe norms, but those whofailed were facing action.Ring Road area, which houses more than 160 textile markets,sitting on a ticking time bomb. With 80% oftextile markets built before 1990s, they lack modernfirefighting equipment, according to National BuildingCode’s (NBC) fire safety norms.

Average of two fire calls per month from textile market areasuggest inadequate space and firefightingequipment cause a lot of property loss.Last two years have witnessed severalminor fire incidents in the textile markets on Ring Road, but fortunately there were not many casualties.

Jay Lal, director of Federation of Surat Textile Traders’Association (FOSTTA), said, “Around 90% marketsin our area don’t have any provision to fight fire.Simple fire extinguishers are not therein the shops or on the floors. There is no provision to fight fire. Simple fire extinguishers are not there in the shops or on the floors. There is no provision to store water either.” Moreover, there is no space for fire vehicles to enter the narrow roads in case of emergency.

ChampalalBothra, secretary of FOSTTA, said, “Ring Road’s textile markets deal inpolyester material, which is 100% combustible.Even a small spark can lead to amajor fire. Many traders are simply carelessas they have secured their goods with insurance.”

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