'No Govt Hospital in Kolkata Has Fire Safety Clearance'
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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 told PTI here.

"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.
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Daily Mail

Dec 14, 2011
12:32 PM

Generally, Govt. Hospitals dont follow any norms anywhere in our country.  Some time back saw a news item that a Govt. Hosp. at Chennai was under fire.

Somasundaram, Chennai
Dec 14, 2011
12:30 PM

Will Didi now close down these Govt. Hospitals?!

Somasundaram, Chennai
Dec 14, 2011
08:45 AM

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

Leave alone the people, even sprinklers "don't work" in Poschim Bongo!!

The Irreverent Indian, Online
Dec 14, 2011
06:54 AM

The Commies in their thirty years rule had made Kolkata a black hole, worse than that we read in the history of that city under the Britsh East India Company rule some centuries ago. Can we imagine hospitals running without Fire safety Clearance certificates?

Samirajan, Portland
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