Lok Nayak Hospital, the Delhi government’s biggest hospital near Delhi Gate with a daily footfall of 6,000 patients, hasn’t yet been able to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Delhi Fire Services as it is refusing to chop off five trees.
While the fire department officials feel the trees near the orthopaedic department will hinder smooth movement of fire tenders, the hospital administration wants them to park their vehicles on the five-metre-broad road parallel to the orthopaedic block.
“Patient welfare and safety is our primary concern and we don’t want to compromise on that front. We have suggested that they park their fire tenders near the orthopaedic block from where the broad road gives ample access to the hospital and its surroundings,” said Dr Richa Diwan, medical superintendent at the hospital.
“At least two of these trees are rare and we would not like to chop them off,” she said, adding that the hospital administration is in talks with environmentalists to discuss other avenues of shifting the trees without chopping them.
Delhi health minister AK Walia said he was aware of the problem. “It is not difficult to uproot and replant the trees. We will refer the matter to the forest department and get the fire clearance soon,” he said.
“We have given our list of fire safety requirements to them and once they conform, we will inspect and issue certification,” said AK Sharma, chief, Delhi Fire Services.
The orthopaedic block, which was to be fully commissioned by April 2010, is partially functional.
“Only our OPDs and some wards are functional. The Public Works Department is still working on operation theatres and by the time it is done with the work, we hope to get fire safety issues sorted,” said Dr Diwan.