Over 700 hospitals, nursing homes in Mumbai flouting fire safety norms: BMC audit

The fire audit conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has found lapses in fire safety norms in around 701 hospitals and nursing homes across Mumbai. The list includes 38 government and BMC-run hospitals, the state government told the state Assembly. The fire safety audit was conducted in the backdrop of the Bhandara fire that broke out in a government hospital in January, killing ten infants.

In a written reply, the state urban development minister Eknath Shinde said the fire department of the BMC has conducted fire audits of 1,324 hospitals, nursing homes and maternity homes in the city and found lapses in fire safety measures in 663 hospitals. They have been served notices under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006,” he said.

Around 38 hospitals being run by the state government and BMC in Mumbai have also been asked to remove anomalies after lapses in fire safety measures were found during the drive conducted by the civic body, he added. Shiv Sena legislator Sanjay Potnis and others have asked about the drive conducted in January to check lapses in hospitals in taking fire safety measures across Mumbai. He said that patients from across the state come to Mumbai for treatment and a drive conducted by the civic body found lapses in fire safety measures in the hospitals.

Around ten infants died after the fire broke out at the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara district hospital in the early hours of January 9. Taking cognizance of the incident, the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had ordered a thorough investigation and directed to find out why the infants could not be saved at the time of the fire. He also ordered fire and structural audits of all the government hospitals across the state.