Wankhede cleared to hold WC matches

Mumbai: The revamped Wankhede stadium, which recently came under the scanner of the fire department for not following safety norms, on Tuesday received a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Mumbai Fire Brigade to stage World Cup matches.

"We have given NOC to the stadium. They have fulfilled all the fire safety norms at the stadium," deputy chief fire officer A N Shinde, who inspected the stadium with his team, told PTI here.

A team of fire officials conducted an inspection at the stadium this morning to check the fire safety mechanism. This was the fourth inspection conducted by the department.

"We have given them the compliance certificate. They can host matches. The stadium is safe and secure," Shinde said.

Last week, the Mumbai Fire Brigade had expressed displeasure over the fire safety system at the newly renovated stadium, which will hosts three World Cup matches including the final on April 2.

The department had found irregularities at the stadium including sprinklers at the stands and ventilation problem in the basement. The fire officials had given the lapses in writing to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

Among the mandatory fire apparatus are water hydrants, internal riser system for the stands, no-smoking indicators, fire alarms, extinguishers and others.

"The stadium had been issued an Occupation Certificate long back. So there was no question of withholding it. We had to verify whether the changes made at the stadium are similar with the existing fire safety norms and then issue an NOC," Shinde said.

NOC is provided when the structure is adequately ventilated and has all the necessary preventive measures and systems in place, he said.