Five decades old Peter principle says “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”. How far it is true in today’s corporate world may be difficult gauge but is 100% true to our skyscrapers. “Skyscrapers (in India) can rise to the level of our incompetence.” Indeed, they can rise beyond that too but at the sole risk of owners and residents.
The tallest building in Gurugram, Paras Quartier in Gwal Pahari, is 175.76m high with 44 floors and another three in the basement
For example, take the recent case of Kerala High Court asking the state government to explain its stand on whether buildings above 30 metres in height can be permitted. The Fire and Rescue Services Department had denied NOC for Cinepolis functioning in Centre Square Mall, Kochi, citing the reason it was above 30 metres. The court noted there was ambiguity in the application of the Fire Protection of National Building Code of India (NBC) in respect of the height. According to the NBC, buildings above 30 metres in height should not be certified for fire safety.
On the other hand, look at the city of skyscrapers – Gurugram. The tallest building in Gurugram, Paras Quartier in Gwal Pahari, is 175.76m high with 44 floors and another three in the basement, but the tallest fire tender hoist that the local Municipal Corporation possesses reaches a maximum 42m, or 14 floors! The situation is no better in other cities too. Even in Maximum City, Mumbai, hi-tech ladder of its Fire Brigade can only reach 33rd floor while there is already 61 storeyed building in the city and many high-rise buildings with 300m+ height are under construction.
Who will bear the cost of rising beyond one’s level of competence? Of course, poor resident for no fault of his. Or he should have enquired the competence of Local Fire Department? We might have moved 30 points up in the Ease of Doing Business Index ladder recently but that doesn’t indicate anything about ease of living (or lack of it) in the country.