90% hospitals in Hyderabad are not fire-safety compliant

In an alarming development, it has come to notice that most hospitals in Hyderabad are functioning in dangerous conditions, records of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) show. According to reports, out of the over 1,700 hospitals that fall under its administration, 90% are not following the fire safety guidelines.

Many hospitals submitted a self-declaration form to receive or renew their no-objection certificates since October 2018. This was done after the enforcement, vigilance and disaster management (EVDM) unit issued notices, warning of strict action, including sealing of their premises and registration of criminal cases against the hospital’s management.

There have been several cases where the residents of the locality have brought up the issue of hospitals’ non-adherence to guidelines. Ridhima V, a resident of MLA Colony in Banjara Hills, said that a hospital situated in their colony was putting at risk the lives of the people living near the area. She added that the government should not permit commercial establishments like hospitals in residential complexes.

Another resident, from new MLA quarters on Basheerbagh Road, said that a nursing home was functioning out of a residential area at Liberty Circle close to 150 metres from the GHMC main office. GHMC officials maintain the hospital administration has been warned. An official told ToI that post the warning given by the EVDM, more than 1000 hospitals submitted a self- declaration form furnishing details of fire safety measures that have been put in place.

The goal was to ascertain the veracity of information submitted by hospitals and issue a NOC if no complaint was found while shutting hospitals found violating the norms, the official added. But this was stopped half-way. “EVDM, in the months of January and February, turned its focus towards encroachments and since the lockdown, staffers have been deployed on Covid-19 duty so the process is pending,” the GHMC official was quoted as saying.

At least ten people were killed in a fire that broke out at a hotel which was converted as Covid-19 care facility in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada.

Eight patients were killed after a fire broke out at a private COVID-19 designated hospital in Ahmedabad. The eight patients who died were admitted in the ICU ward of the hospital, fire officials said.