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Delhi government gets more time to reply on fire safety

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New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted more time to the government in the national capital to respond on a plea seeking immediate action against illegal hotels and guest houses running here that are violating fire safety norms.A division bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon was hearing a plea by North, South and East Municipal Corporations, seeking more time to file their response.However, petitioner and advocate Arpit Bhargava opposed their plea and said that they have taken enough time and should have filed the reply till Wednesday.The advocate, in his plea, sought framing of policy and guidelines in a time-bound manner and its implementation to ensure periodic checks/inspections of all community halls, hotels and guest houses within their jurisdictions.The court has listed the matter for further hearing on July 18.Bhargava has sought fixation of accountability in relation to compliance with provisions of law, specially fire safety and structural safety norms.He has also sought strict action against Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh and compensation for family members of the 17 people who died in the fire there on February 12.”…concerted effort must be made by all the respondents in taking action against all such guest houses and hotels spread across Delhi by immediately shutting down their operations and seal those who are found violating any provision of law specially fire safety and structural safety norms,” the plea said.The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking action against illegal community halls that are running without safety norms.

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