No Fire Safety Act exists in J&K
It has been reported that the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has no Fire Force Act i.e. a law that makes it mandatory to install fire safety gadgets in the public and private establishments. In absence of any such Act, the J&K Fire and Emergency Services department which is the enforcement body, has been rendered toothless and is unable to enforce the fire safety guidelines for hotels, cinema halls, schools, shopping complexes, hospitals, multi-storey commercial establishments etc.
In a reply to an RTI application filed seeking information about the number of Cinema Halls which had approached for the issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Fire and emergency Services Department in year 2010-12, it was informed by the Department that there is no stringent enforcement as on date in absence of Fire Force Act, as such the department issues only technical recommendations regarding fire safety measure to anyone who approaches the department for the same.
As there is no stringent enforcement law, as such the recommendations of the department are not taken seriously. Activists have pointed that the J&K government should learn a lesson from fire tragedies taking place across the world, and not wait for a tragedy to happen in the Jammu and Kashmir.