Relief for Kochi mall as govt. amends Kerala Municipal Building Rules, 2019
The government has amended the Kerala Municipal Building Rules (KMBR), 2019 fixing the maximum height restriction of multiplex complex buildings at 50 metres against the 30 metres prescribed for assembly category buildings in the National Building Code (NBC).
The Local Self-Government Department has issued a clarification to “remove difficulties for implementation of the relevant provisions of the KMBR, 2019 for height restriction in multiplex complex buildings for their general applicability and specific to the case of Central Square Mall in Ernakulam.” The Department of Fire and Rescue Services had denied no-objection certificate to the multiplex at the mall stating that the building under the assembly category was situated above 30 metres in violation of the NBC.
As per the amendments to the KMBR, the total built up area of multiplex complexes shall not be less than 12,000 sq.m. and the height of the building shall not exceed 50 metres. The height restriction of 30 metres for buildings under the assembly category in the NBC and subsequent amendments shall not be applicable for buildings under this occupancy group.
The restriction of 30 metres maximum for multiplex complex buildings, which is covered under a subcategory of Assembly category in National Building Code, 2016 and subsequent amendments, is not applicable in the State because the specific provision has been inserted in the KMBR, 2019 to provide for height up to 50 metres in suppression of the NBC, 2016.
As per amended provisions of the KMBR, 2019 under Rule 25(2)(1), the Fire Department is responsible for deciding the fire and safety standards and norms for the portion of the multiplex complex buildings beyond 30 metres, said an order issued by Bishwanath Sinha, Principal Secretary.
The provisions in Rule 5(4)(12) have also been amended to harmonise with provisions under Rule 25(2)(1) of the KMBR to state that the “provisions regarding the height of the buildings as specified in the National Building Code of India 2016 shall not apply to the multiplex complexes.”
The Fire Department had pointed out that evacuation of people from assembly buildings above 30-metre height would be difficult in an emergency.
Any assembly building above the height of 30 metres cannot be considered as safe from the fire safety point of view, it said.