‘Few Kolkata hospitals stick to fire safety rules’

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 13:22

‘Few Kolkata hospitals stick to fire safety rules’
Kolkata: Few hospitals in the metropolis,
whether government or private, adhere to fire safety norms,
the lack of which claimed 93 lives at the AMRI Hospital on
December nine.

"No government hospital in the city has fire safety
clearance," Director General of West Bengal Fire Services
Gopal Bhattacharya said.

"We have been repeatedly telling the hospital authorities
to adhere to fire safety norms and obtain no objection
certificate, but nothing has so far happened," Bhattacharya
said.

The situation was no different in the case of private
hospitals with some obtaining one time no objection
certificates and others having merely applied for them, he
said.

"Just taking NOC does not mean anything, if these
establishments are not subsequently adhering to fire safety
norms," the DG said.

He said, "This lack of adherence to fire safety norms was
evident in Friday`s devastating fire at AMRI Hospital."

The seven-storied centrally air-conditioned annexe
building turned into a gas chamber as a fire in the basement
led to smoke filling the upper floors, choking mostly critical
care patients to death.

It has been alleged that the hospital authorities had
also switched off fire and smoke alarms, while sprinklers did
not work.

Following the AMRI fire, the West Bengal government has
constituted a five-member committee to ascertain whether large
establishments adhered to fire safety measures.

The committee has been mandated to review fire safety
measures of hospitals, nursing homes, installations, high-rise
buildings and hotels.

The committee would also ascertain whether necessary
licences have been obtained from the fire services department,
said state Fire and Emergency Services minister Javed Khan,
who has threatened stringent action against violators.

The committee led by D P Biswas, Additional Director
General, Fire Services would submit a daily report, which
would be reviewed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee every
week.

The DG Fire Services, however, said that other government
departments should also keep a tab on such establishments.

"It is not just the fire services department, but there
are other departments also," Bhattacharya stressed.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 13:22

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