Hospitals on the Nakkal Road fail to comply with fire safety norms.
VIJAYAWADA: Fire erupted at an eye hospital on Nakkal Road in Suryaraopet on Wednesday morning. At around 6 am fire and smoke overcome Sridevi Eye Hospital. Luckily, no one was there in the hospital at the time of the accident. Locals who have observed the fire informed the officials and three fire tenders rushed to the spot and put off the fire. A short circuit in the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit has caused the fire and it caught on to the electric wires in the building. Medicine, furniture and the machinery in the hospital were damaged.
The loss was estimated at nearly `12lakh in the accident.
The fire officers immediately evacuated the people who are living on the top floors of the building. The top two floors of a building were being used for residential purposes. Meanwhile, the Sridevi Eye Hospital fire accident is an eye-opener for the other hospitals on the Nakkal Road. More than 50 hospitals are there on the road presently and most of them do not obey with the fire safety norms. As the regulations were relieved for the hospitals which are in less than 15 meters height buildings, most of these hospitals are taking control out of them.
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According to the new regulations issued by the department of medical and health, hospital buildings which are less than a 15 meters in height need not get any objection certificate from the fire department for their registration or renewal. This regulation comes in handy for the hospitals to bypass the fire safety rules. As many as 287 hospitals in the city were identified by the fire department which is yet to comply with the fire safety rules. Another easy way out for the Nakkal Road hospitals is that many hospitals are consulting clinics. A portion of the building is only being used by the hospitals. As the single building is being rented out to the various commercial purposes no one has concerned abo-ut the fire safety norms.
The entire building must have the fire safety requirements like having a separate fire exit, staircase and fire extinguishing equipment. But many of the buildings which include the hospitals do not comply with the safety norms. However the hospitals do not have inpatient facilities, they are densely located on Nakkal Road which is both easily accessible to the bus and the railway stations. “Thousands of patients come in every day with the various ailments from all over the district. We are sensitizing the building owners and hospital managements to put minimum fire safety measures,” said regional fire safety officer P. Arun Babu.
Fire safety a far cry in Guntur district:
A majority cinema halls, cold storages, nursing homes/hospitals, schools and other structures do not comply with fire safety rules in Guntur district. The fire safety equipment installation is a must to every building but the majority of the building owners are violating the rules. Recently, huge chili stocks were reduced to ashes in a cold storage fire mishap. The officials had started issuing the notifications to the violators. The fire services department will offer a free training about fire safety to students, social workers, and NGO organizations to create awareness about the fire safety among the masses.
Every structure has to get no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire services department after installing the fire safety equipment. There are 104 cinema halls, 474 hospitals, 146 functions halls, 26 big commercial complexes, 104 cold storages and 1,389 private/corporate schools operative in the district of which majority of them are situated in the Guntur city. But, only four cold storages out of 104 had obtained NOC. Similarly, 29 function halls against the total of 146, 44 cinema halls out of total 104, 115 hospitals against the total of 474 and only two big commercial complexes against the total of 26 have NOCs. The schools are slightly better as 971 private/corporate schools got NOCs out of total 1,389.
IUMLAP president Basheer Ahmed lamented that public will gather in a large numbers in function halls, cine theatres, hospitals and commercial complexes but the government is neglecting the safety of the public by being negligent towards implementation of fire safety rules. Referring to the fire mishap of AMRI Hospital in Kolkatta killing 90 people and other mishaps, he demanded the government to implement fire safety rules strictly to safeguard the public.
The fire services department early issues notices to 100 cold storages and norms violating cine theatres, commercial/shopping complexes and the apartments for the installation of fire safety equipment. Guntur Chilli Yard chairman M Subba Rao said that orders were issued to the cold storages to installs a fire safety equipment to curb mishaps.