Government officials are of the opinion that majority of the Multiplexes in AP and Telangana are not following fire safety measures. The main complaint is that even though successive governments are considering it as a serious and punishable office, few officials are not following laws and taking strict and stringent action.
There is a rule that every Multiplex in the cities should have fire safety. Any commercial or private building which is more than 15 mtrs or 18 mtrs height must have fire safety.
Officials should inspect whether the buildings have fire safety system while issuing occupancy certificate after the completion of the construction. But officials are not bothering about it due to corrupt practices. Though many complaints are coming, the officials who are used to taking bribes are issuing all no objection certificates without even bothering to inspect even basic things. Some Multiplexes did not even arrange for fire extinguishing measures.
Movie lovers are at risk as even 60% single screen theatres do not have no objection certificates. An official said, “Fire safety rules are preventive. It is illogical to say that as there have been no mishaps we don’t need any.”
Officials go on record saying, “The structural stability NOC is valid for three years, the fire safety for three years and the electricity department NOC is valid for two years. The departments are trying to bring uniformity in this.”
Theatre safety measures cost around Rs 5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh depending on height and so the managements are not showing any interest. Officials express their helplessness saying, "We can’t take any action against those flouting fire safety rules. The maximum we can do is launch legal proceedings. They can get away by paying a fine.”