Delhi’s RML Hospital inferno in waiting?



New Delhi: Is the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital an inferno in waiting? Despite notices from the fire department to correct over 16 fire-prone areas within 90 days, the Central Public Works department has not been able to complete its work within the given deadline, an RTI reply said.

After inspecting the hospital last December, the director of Delhi Fire Services A K Sharma in a written communication to the hospital authorities said that "perusal of the fire and life safety aspects in the hospital is alarming" and allowed them 90 days to rectify the shortcomings suspending all the 'No Objection Certificate' issued to the hospital.

"Even after the completion of 90 days that ended on March 31 last, the CPWD has asked the hospital authorities to allow them "some more time up to the end of May 2012" to complete the work of upgradation of fire fighting and fire alarm system at various locations of the hospital", Ajay Marathe said quoting the RTI reply.

A resident of Mumbai, Marathe filed the RTI to know the preparedness of Delhi hospitals in fighting fire after he learnt about a fire in AMRI hospital in Kolkata last year that had choked 94 people to death.

"The Trauma Centre of the hospital caters to emergency patients, including the bomb blast cases, and it’s surprising it functions without an NOC", he said.

Reading from the inspection report of the Delhi Fire Services, Marathe said, "The approach to the hospital has been found blocked, escape routes blocked/locked in all the high rise blocks, sprinkler system, smoke management system and public addressing system out of order and the basement found full of waste materials.

PTI