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At civil hospital, safety measures take a backseat

The possibility of a major fire and re-run of Kolkata's AMRI fire in the state-run 200 bedded Civil Hospital in Gurgaon cannot be ruled out.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2011 00:54 IST
Sunil Thapliyal

The possibility of a major fire and re-run of Kolkata's AMRI fire in the state-run 200 bedded Civil Hospital in Gurgaon cannot be ruled out.

Despite being equipped with elementary fire safety gazettes, the hospital administration has admitted that it lacked dedicated staff to operate these gazettes in case of a tragedy. The hospital witnesses a footfall of over 1,000 visitors every day.

The city has one government and 12 private hospitals.

The untrained staff, appointed to use fire-safety equipment at the Civil Hospital, poses a safety hazard to people.

The hospital administration has spent R40 lakh on fire safety equipment.

"God forbid if a fire like the one at Kolkata's AMRI Hospital breaks out at Gurgaon civil hospital, the consequences will be disastrous. The civil hospital has the equipment but no trained staff to counter the threat," said a senior fire official on the condition of anonymity.

"Trained fire fighters can make a big difference. Only a professional can act smartly and save peoples' lives. I don't think the civil hospital or any private hospital in the city has trained staff."

"The Gurgaon district administration should change their rules for fire-safety norms and also recruit trained staff for public safety," said Sanjeev K Saxena, a fire expert.

On the other hand, the hospital administration said they are well prepared to deal with any such incident. "The hospital has a smoke fire alarm, water tank with the capacity of one lakh litre. We have put all fire safety equipment in place. The hospital has a team of 20 people, who are part of the fire squad. Five of them will be available and will work on a 24*7 basis," said Dr Assuruddin, principal medical officer, Gurgaon civil hospital.