91 Pune hospitals on “severe risk” list in district fire audit

The district administration in Pune has issued directives for immediate compliance with fire safety norms to 91 hospitals that figured in the “severe risk” list of a fire audit recently conducted. A total of 737 hospitals were scrutinised for fire safety norms in the aftermath of the hospital fire tragedy in Nashik recently.

District collector Rajesh Deshmukh said, “We have conducted a fire audit of 737 hospitals where 91 hospitals in the district were found wanting in adhering to fire safety norms, like not having enough hospital space where a fire brigade vehicle can enter, and a lack of fire extinguishers inside the hospitals. At the same time we have ordered an electric audit of all the hospitals to ward off short-circuit-driven fire incidents.”

Divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao had formed a seven-member committee to conduct fire audits of hospitals in Pune Zilla Parishad, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations and the Cantonment areas. The committee was headed by Suhas Divase, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of PMRDA.

Earlier, the Bombay High Court had directed the Maharashtra government to ensure municipal authorities conducted an immediate fire audit of all hospitals, nursing homes and Covid-19 care centres across Maharashtra.

In April, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had issued notices to 61 hospitals for lacunas in the fire-fighting systems, after it carried out a fire audit of the said medical establishments. The central fire brigade department inspected over 240 hospitals with the help of private auditors and submitted the report to the civic administration.