One out of every five schools in the capital doesn’t have the periodic fire safety clearance certificate, according to a review conducted by the Delhi Fire Services. The department received the highest number of fire-related calls in the past 10 years this Diwali. “At least 20% of the schools–mostly the ones run by the government or municipal corporations–have failed to fulfil the safety requirements, due to which they do not possess the fire safety clearance certificate,” said A K Sharma, director of Delhi Fire Services.
Sources in the fire department said they are likely to prepare a list of schools which have failed to fulfil the safety requirements despite being intimated several times, and will issue them notices soon. In the case of some schools, the safety clearances are pending for two years or even more than that, they said. Many of the schools had assured that they would get the changes done by the end of summer vacations. On the basis of this, the fire department anticipated a clearance rate of anything between 85% to 90% by the year-end. However, things did not turn out as expected, the sources said. According to the Director (Press and Information) for North and East corporations, Y S Mann, many schools under the jurisdiction of the two corporations have fulfilled the fire safety requirements in consultation with the engineering department. “For others, they are trying their best to get periodic fire clearances as early as possible.” He added that some of those buildings, especially the ones in the walled city, are quite old.”Despite renovation, they have failed to fulfill the safety requirements,” Mann said.