Ahmedabad hospitals continue to flout fire safety norms

Despite repeated strictures by the high court in 2011 and 2012, several hospitals in the city still feel that installing a fire safety system or even ensuring that they be in working condition is deep down on the priority list. A recent report by the fire department to the municipal commissioner suggests that just 330 hospitals of the 1,880 hospitals registered with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) till December last year have either applied for periodic NOCs for their fire safety systems or have recently installed a system in their medical facility. This was revealed in an RTI filed by the Kalupur resident Pankaj Bhatt.

Even hospitals like VS Hospital was without a periodic fire NOC till August this year. It was in 2012 that the state government had asked the AMC to constitute a committee to conduct a detailed zonal survey of hospitals to know the status of fire safety systems on their premises. Back then there were close to 1,000 hospitals registered with the AMC. An inspection team was constituted under Dr A A Begda, superintendent of vaccination department in AMC. The team was to check If any hospital was operating without BU permission and fire safety certificate.

“Nothing much seems to have taken place after this team submitted its report to the standing committee and the municipal, commissioner. I had received a reply from the AMC under RTI,’ says Bhatt.