Students of 1,200 schools in Delhi, both private and government, may not be safe during schools hours.According to the officials of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS), out of the 3,000 schools that approached them for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) recently, shortcomings in fire-fighting preparedness were found in 1,200.
“All these (schools) have been advised to overcome these shortcomings and apply for the NOC again,” said AK Sharma, director, DFS.
There are more than 4,500 schools in the Capital. While many of these have NOCs from the fire department, some have either not applied or have been asked to improve upon their fire safety measures. An NOC from the fire department means reasonable fire safety has been ensured in a building.
According to DFS rules 2010, the occupier of the premises has to maintain fire prevention and fire safety measures at all times so that in the event of fire, those could be used by the occupants or fire department officials.
“The process of making a building fire safe is a long and costly one. It costs around R8 lakh to get hosepipes and sprinklers and other equipment installed. A lot of schools are in the process of getting the certificates,” said Ameeta Wattal, secretary of National Progressive Schools Conference. “The Directorate of Education has also issued guidelines that make it necessary for schools to get a clearance from the fire department.”
Delhi education minister, Arvinder Singh could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.