Hyderabad: After a major fire broke out at the All India industrial exhibition (AIIE), or Numaish, earlier this year in January, hundreds of makeshift stalls burnt down to ashes. Following the incident, the managing committee of the Exhibition Society has taken preventive measures to avoid any fire accidents.
They converted the overhead electrical lines to underground cable system in the entire exhibition grounds for the safety of stallholders and the public during the exhibition. The complete electrical wires at the exhibition grounds will be underground, complying with the instructions of the Telangana Chief Electrical Inspector within ten days.
Ten more distribution boxes have been installed with 160 amps MCCBs for equal distribution of load to all stalls during the exhibition, besides the existing 22 boxes. The wire connection to the booths will be entirely inside PVC pipes, and no wiring will be seen in open. These measures are taken to safeguard stallholders and the public. The entire cost of laying underground electric cables is around Rs 82.65 lakh.
Two firewater sumps, each having 1.5-lakh litre capacity, have been constructed on the ground. One diesel engine pump, one main pump and a jockey pump have been installed in each pump house. An underground fire-fighting pipeline of 2,850 meters is being laid.
The project of constructing firewater pumps and fire fighting pipelines cost around Rs 2.1 crore. Each stallholder must install a fire extinguisher depending on the size of the stall. Fire extinguishers have also been placed at select places on the grounds. Besides, water barrels and fire buckets are placed at select locations on the ground.
Two fire engines and a fire motorbike will be indented in the exhibition grounds by the fire department. Mock drills will be undertaken before the exhibition starts with the cooperation of fire and police departments.
Trained volunteers are going to be deputed to operate fire hydrant valves in case of emergency, and there will be enough space for the fire engine to move in case of any fire incident.
Stallholders will not be allowed to use any gas stoves for preparing food near their stalls. As of now, there are four entry and four exit gates. Three more will be added for the public in case of an emergency. Six full back-up automatic diesel power generators are being placed to handle any power failures in the grounds.
In short, this year, all precautions suggested by the fire and police departments are being taken so that the occurrence of fire due to a naked flame or electrical short circuit can be avoided.
Meanwhile, Khaja Aijazuddin, an advocate in the Telangana High court, filed a PIL before the HC. “The Society has not taken availed any fire safety measures and statutory norms. Taking preventive measures is not the criteria. They have to take fire NOC from the government, and other permissions from GHMC and police,” Aijazuddin remarked.
He added that unless and until various instrumentalities grant these permissions, no exhibition should be conducted from January 2020. “It’s a rule of law to be maintained. The exhibition society is likely to file its counter before the High court, and the court will hear the PIL on November 13,” he noted.