Mumbai civic body orders fire safety audit of all private, govt hospitals

In the wake of two fire incidents reported at two Covid-19 hospitals in two weeks, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct a fire safety audit of all private, government and civic-run hospitals in the city. BMC has directed the chief fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) to conduct an audit of all such hospitals in the city and submit a report within 15 days. There are over 1,300 such hospitals in the city.

This comes in the backdrop of nine Covid-19 patients losing their lives after a fire was reported in Sunrise Hospital housed inside Dreams Mall in Bhandup followed by the fire at Dahisar Covid-19 Jumbo Centre. In the second incident at Dahisar, no injuries were reported, but more than 50 patients were shifted owing to fire in their hangar.

Two months ago in a similar exercise conducted by BMC, fire safety lapses were found in around 701 hospitals and nursing homes across Mumbai. The list includes 38 government and BMC-run hospitals. The fire safety audit was conducted in the backdrop of the fire that broke out in a government hospital in Bhandara in January, killing 10 infants.

In a circular issued by him, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said, “In the wake of fire incidents at several locations in BMC limit, it has been decided to conduct fire safety audit of all private, government and municipal hospitals for their fire safety compliances.”
The circular added, “In case of any shortcomings/ deficiencies observed from the fire safety point of view during such inspection, action under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 shall be initiated. The chief fire officer will submit the report to this effect within 15 days.”

Meanwhile, fire safety violations have also been reported from restaurants and hotels. In a report submitted by MFB in November 2020, between January 2019 and October 2020, 57% of 12,743 hotels, malls and other commercial establishments in the city have been found violating fire safety norms.