No NOC from state government, then no Numaish, says Telangana HC

Hyderabad: Telangana High Court on Monday made it clear that it will not permit organisers to hold the annual All India Industrial Exhibition. It is popularly known as Numaish, which has been conducted at Nampally Exhibition Grounds in Hyderabad since the Nizam’s era. Numaish is Hyderabad’s month-long carnival run by the Exhibition Society in January every year.

However, a major fire broke out at Numaish last year. Though fortunately no deaths were reported, the fire gutted hundreds of shops, causing massive loss to stall owners besides creating panic among visitors. The incident raised doubts over their safety and security.

Several individuals and organisations filed petitions in the High Court expressing concern over the inadequate safety arrangements at Numaish, and the HC took up the case on Monday. It stated that the organisers should take all required permissions and No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to conduct the exhibition from January 1, 2020. The HC also directed the state government to inform about the steps taken regarding safety and security for conducting Numaish.

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy asked the government to place on record the evacuation plan to avoid fire accidents at the event. It also directed the state government to check whether statutory NOCs have been issued to the Exhibition Society. The Bench made it clear that the organisers would not be permitted to hold the exhibition if they did not have NOCs from the state government.

The HC passed these orders hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by city-based advocate Khaja Aijazuddin. He urged the Court to direct the state government to stop the exhibition as the Exhibition Society failed to comply with fire safety measures as per The Telangana Fire Service Act 1999. The statutory NOCs and permissions involve Fire NOC from Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services department, GHMC, Police Permission from DGP and Hyderabad Police Commissioner and the Electricity Permission from the Chief Electrical Inspector.

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