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Permission Requirements for Fire License of Temporary Structures

West Bengal

Permission requirements needed for fire license of temporary structures and pandals in West Bengal need to obtained under Sec. 23A of the West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950. All temporary structures are to be constructed as per Temporary Structure's Rules - 2003.

The West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950

Chapter 1V A of the Act deals with temporary structures and pandals. Section 23A reads as:

23A. Erection of temporary structures or pandals:

  1. A person who intends to erect a temporary structure or pandal with roof or walls made of straw, hay, ulu grass, golpata, hogla, darma, mat, canvas [tarpaulin, ploythene sheets and high density polythene] or other like material [in an area where this Act is in force], for use as a place where members of the public may assemble, shall apply to the Director [or the superior nominated authority along with the prescribed fees] for permission to erect such structure or pandal and such permission shall not be refused if the structure or pandal conforms to the conditions that may be prescribed in this behalf [and the fee as may be prescribed in this behalf is paid] :
    [Provided that the State Government may prescribe by rules the essential requirements of a 'Fire Safety Certificate' in respect of any class or classes of temporary structures or pandals.]
     
  2. No structure or pandal referred to in sub-section (1) shall be erected:
    1. Unless it conforms to the conditions referred to in sub-section (1) [and the fee referred to in sub-section (1) is paid]; and
    2. Unless permission of the Director [or the superior nominated authority] has been granted under sub-section (1) :
Provided that where no order granting or refusing the permission is made within such period as may be prescribed in this behalf, the structure or pandal may be erected if it conforms to the conditions referred to in sub-section (1).

Explanation: For the purpose of the above proviso, different periods may be prescribed for different kinds of structures and pandals.

Under Chapter V of the Act which deals with penalties, Section 23B talks about dismantling of temporary structures and pandals. Section 33A gives a penalty for erecting a structure in contravention to 23A. They are as follows:

23B. Dismantling of temporary structure or pandal:

The Director or the superior nominated authority with the assistance of the local authority and under police protection shall dismantle a temporary structure or pandal erected in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1), and the cost of such dismantling shall be charged to the person who so erects the temporary structure or pandal, as the case may be.

33A. Penalty for erecting structure, etc., in contravention of section 23A:

Any person who erects any structure or pandal in contravention of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 23A, shall be punishable, on conviction [* * * *], [with fine not exceeding [(fifty thousand)] rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with both, and with further fine not exceeding [(three thousand)] rupees for each day] during which such contravention continues.

The West Bengal Fire Services (Temporary Structure and Pandals) Rules 2003

  • Rule 2(c) defines a temporary structure or pandal.
  • Rule 3 mandates permission from the Director General or superior nominated authority when an application is made through form A along with documents such as layout plan and certificate from licensed electrician
  • Rule 4 lays down the various conditions to be fulfilled for erecting a structure or pandal.
  • Rule 5 lays down the manner for granting permission to erect structure and prescribes the requisite fees.
  • Rule 6 prescribes a period of 15 days to grant or refuse permission for erection or structure or pandal.

Bihar

The Bihar Fire Service Act, 2014 regulates permission requirements needed for fire license of temporary structures and pandals in Bihar.

Important Definitions
  • Section 2(e) describes erector of pandal:

    As a person or an association of persons, whether corporate or otherwise, who erects or makes a pandal or any structure for occupation of people on a regular or temporary basis;
     
  • Section 2(y) describes Pandal:

    To mean a temporary structure with roof or walls made of straw, hay, ulu grass, golpatta, hogla, derma, mat, canvas, cloth or other like material which is not adopted for permanent or continuous occupancy;

Relevant Provisions

S.26 of the Act deems erectors of pandals to be self -regulators. A director or nominated authority may inspect the premises and direct changes in the same. An IO has the power to seal the pandal in case of non- compliance. Moreover, defaulters are punishable under Section 52 of the Act.

The section reads as follows:
26. Fire prevention and fire Safety measures in the pandals to be self regulatory.
  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the erectors of pandals shall be deemed to be self -regulators for taking fire prevention and fire safety measures prescribed under sub-section (2) of Section 25
     
  2. The erector of a pandal shall display at a prominent place in the pandal a declaration in the prescribed form and under his own signature to the effect that he has taken all the prescribed fire prevention and fire safety measures therein.
     
  3. It shall be lawful for the Director, nominated authority or any other officer authorized by the Government or Director General in this behalf to enter and inspect the pandal with a view to verify the correctness of the declaration so made by the erector under sub-section (2) and to point out the shortcomings, if any, with directions to remove them within a specified time. If the directions of the inspecting officer are not complied with within the time so given, the inspecting officer shall seal the pandal.
     
  4. Any erector of a pandal who falsely declares that he has complied with the prescribed fire prevention and fire safety measures in the pandal shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 52 of this Act.
Section 27 of the act empowers a director to direct the removal of encroachments, objects or goods which are a fire hazard or cause obstruction to fire fighting and in case of non-compliance by defaulter, have the matter be adjudicate by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Persons aggrieved by the order have a right to approach an appellate authority.

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