Santosh S. Warick, Chief Fire Officer & Fire Advisor of MIDC Fire Service and Director, Maharashtra Fire Service MAITRI.
He has got 27 years of experience in the field of fire prevention and protection; he has served on various positions in MIDC Fire Services. He is basically a Science graduate, he has done Fire Engineering from National Fire Service College, Nagpur, and he is MBA in Finance and Law Graduate. He has got expertise in firefighting of various occupancies and implementation of Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures as per National Building Codes of India. He has successfully handled various industrial projects, special townships, SEZs and IT parks in Maharashtra.
1. Brief us your journey as a CFO & FA, MIDC Fire Services. How proud do you feel to be a part of such Life Saving Organization?
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Fire services was established in the year 1989 with the only two fire stations at Roha and Tarapur industrial area. Now we have 30 operational fire stations in various industrial areas across Maharashtra and another 15 fire station are coming up in the near future. Considering globalisation and rapid Industrialisation in the state of Maharashtra, MIDC is providing fire services to the plot holders and where major investment is happening through FDI units, SEZ and special project like IT, Biotechnology and Textile Park. MIDC has taken policy decision to provide and maintain fire service in major industrial areas. MIDC industrial estate has got various types of industries having different potential fire risk and it was great learning by way of implementing fire and life safety requirement as per national and international standards. By implementing continuous awareness of fire safety we are trying to minimise life loss and saving national property. It is always proud to be associated to life saving service to achieve our goal “ We Serve To Save”
2. What is the status of implementation of The Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006. Ensuring fire safety in high rise buildings.
As per 13th Finance Commission Report and the Risk Analysis done by Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India the gap of fire services across India is 82 to 90 percent in terms of number of fire stations, fire appliances and trained and qualified manpower. In the state of Maharashtra except same Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Special Planning Authorities (SPA) the fire services are not equip. Hence to overcome this gap The Maharashtra Fire Act has a provision by authorising 3rd party to provide and maintained the basic fire prevention and protection arrangement as per the provision of Part 4 of National Building Code of India (NBC). In majority of Municipal Corporation and Special Planning Authorities the fire prevention and life safety recommendation are provided at the time of granting building plan approval and the same are verified by them at the time of granting final fire approval. As per Section 3 of the Fire Act it is the responsibility of the owner or occupier as the case may be to submit the certificate in Form A at the time of granting Final Fire Approval and Form B stating the systems are in good working condition issued by licence agency every year in the month of January and July. The intention behind periodical submission of “Form B” is to ensure that the fire fighting systems provided in the building are in good working condition and can be effectively use in case of in fire emergency. Unfortunately this provision is not followed scrupulously and in case of real emergency it is observed that the fire systems are not working which result in delayed response time which may result into loss of precious human life and property.
3. Suggest us the Improvements/changes incorporated on the Fire and Life Safety in any occupancy. As Fire safety is everyone’s priority?
For ensuring fire and life safety in any occupancy the minimum fire prevention and protection arrangement are recommended in relevant Indian Standards and NBC Part 4 shall be implemented by every stake holder. It is the responsibility of every stake holder to consider and implement basic fire and life safety arrangements from planning of any occupancy that is right from Architect, Developer, Builder, regulator, user or occupier, etc. The marginal open space around the building for mobility of fire appliances and to reduce the exposure hazards coming from outside to the building or from neighbouring occupancy, the passive fire protection systems such as width of staircase and passages, compartmentation, refuge area and most important is the Fire Tower or Fire Fighters shaft for every high rise building shall be mandatory. Also the basic fire protection requirements as specified in Table 7 of Part 4 of NBC 2016 shall be provided in every occupancy. If we collectively implement the fire and life safety provisions of Part 4 of NBC and other Indian Standards, then we can make every building as fire safe.
4.What type of training and exposure been given by MIDC to the officers and staff members for strengthening of fire services.
The training and capacity building is the continue process in fire and emergency services. To handle emergency situation the confidence level and the decision making of fire officers and staff shall be of high level. To build this confidence and decision making through team work exercise is achieved by continue drills, exercises and by imparting various types of training. We at MIDC conduct various in houses workshop and training programme for our officers and staff we also depute our fire officers and staff to National Fire Service College, Nagpur for training. We have started deputing our fire officers and staff to M/s. Reliance, Ngotwane Fire Training facility were they have hot fire ground training facility for various hydrocarbons fires. With the help of M/s. Underwriter Laboratory (UL) we are providing fire investigation training to our officers, these trainings have help us to strengthening our fire services team.
5. What type of new framework of powers and duties will equip Fire and Rescue authorities to meet the challenges of the new generation?
In the state of Maharashtra we don’t have state level fire service. The fire services are maintained by ULB and SPA as mention above there is huge deficiency in terms of number of fire stations, fire appliances and manpower. The state government has implemented ‘’Maharashtra Agni Suraksha Abhiyan’’ where in funding is providing for the construction of fire stations and fire appliances to all municipal councils. Considering the rapid Urbanisation and Industrialisation in the state of Maharashtra it is high time that the fire and emergency services shall be provided with minimum manpower, appliances and equipment. The strict implementation of Part 4 of NBC for fire and life safety for all types of occupancies including high rise buildings and industrial establishments. The thin structure of fire services at every district and of fire services available at the block level will help in minimising response time towards any emergency. State of art training facility with hot fire ground will help to build trained manpower across state. A separate fire prevention wing with qualified and trained fire engineers to deal with building plan approval process will be the need of a time. Also strict implementation of Fire Act especially periodical submission of Form B ensuring fire prevention and protection systems provided in building are in good working condition. These reforms will help for strengthening of fire and emergency services to deal with the future challenges.
6. What role does MIDC plays for an Fire Officer & staff family, if the Fire Officer lost his life in an accident, it’s been seen the worst situation is been faced by the family to up bring their family? Latest updates.
MIDC has adopted a model of maintaining the services with minimum manpower by providing rent free accommodation within fire station with free water, and electricity. MIDC has a policy for reimbursement 100 percent medical bills of all family members of officers and staff. MIDC has an insurance scheme which provides Rs. 20 Lakh life cover in case of an accident or life threat. MIDC also provides job to daises family members.
7. As we all are aware of IT & Digitalization, do you think it’s a boon for the Fire Safety Industry.
The role of IT and digitalisation is phenomenally changed every field of life and fire services are not exception to it. Information technology has implemented in granting provisional fire approvals in MIDC. Also the Final Fire Approvals are granted online since last two years. With the implementation of GIS the detail information of every industrial plot that has a potential fire risk and the type of fire protection arrangement are available in that industrial units or in any occupancy can be retrieve on a click mouse by seating in fire stations control room. MIDC is implementing various ERP modules for seamless service to the plot holders and Fire Service is also a part of it.
8. How MIDC has made the fire approval process on line, how do you keep tract of the fire approvals and renewals in industrial estate of MIDC.
The provisional fire approval and building plan approval process is made online by MIDC. The building plans are scrutinized by software and provisional fire approval and plan approval is granted online with digital signature.
MIDC has created single window application for granting final fire approvals were in all document copy can be uploaded along with the online application and after carrying out inspection final fire approval with digital signature is uploaded on website and plot holder can download it from anywhere, it is linked with granting occupancy certificate. In case of renewal it is demand base and MIDC do not mandate for renewal of fire approvals, only requirement is to submit Form B issued by licence agency in the months January and July every year. The data base of all fire approval issued by the department are also stored on server and can be retrieved as and when required.
9. What is the status of compliance of Form B certifying fire prevention and protection systems are in good working conditions as per Maharashtra Fire Act.
Thought the Fire Act mandates that every owner or occupier as the case may be shall submit Form ‘’B’’ issued by license agency to local fire service in the months of January and July every year, but it observed that majority of the occupancies do not give annual maintain contract of fire prevention and protection system to the licence agency authorised by Fire Act and maintenance of fire prevention and protection arrangement is neglected. When fire services respond to any fire emergency in case of actual emergency the fire prevention and protection arrangement provided in the building are found not in the working condition which result in to loss precious human life and national property. Continuous awareness and imparting training of basic fire fighting will help us to sensitise public at large.
10. What is MAITRI platform and how it is benefiting industries in the state of Maharashtra.
The government of Maharashtra has created a separate sell called as Maharashtra Industry, Trade and Investment Facilitation Cell called MAITRI it facilitate of existing industries and upcoming industries in the state of Maharashtra for securing various types of approvals. It works as a single window for industrial approvals. At present 15 Nodal officers of various department are helping industries for obtaining 45 approvals required for setting up industry in the state of Maharashtra the detail are available on MAITRI portal.