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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Civil hospital flouts fire-safety norms, risks lives

Vandana Singh  Ludhiana, February 09, 2014
First Published: 21:35 IST(9/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:36 IST(9/2/2014)

With the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital not having a fire-safety certificate, patients admitted in the hospital have been left to God's mercy when it comes to their safety. Worse, even fire extinguishers at the hospital expired in December 2013.

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Following fire-safety norms is important for any hospital as it has high density of life in terms of patients, doctors, staff, etc. Besides, the hospital has many heat-dissipating equipment, combustible gasses and fuel, chemicals and a lot of electrical wiring. Thus, in absence of proper fire fighting planning and equipemtn, all that stands as a risk.

The fire extinguishers installed in the building of civil hospital were filled on December 2012 and were marked due to be refilled on December 2013. But two months on, the extinguishers are yet to be refilled. The civil hospital had applied for the fire-safety certificate from the fire safety office in 2013. But that was rejected as many laws were flouted in the building and proper arrangements were not made.

District additional fire officer Balbir Singh said, "It's been a year when civil hospital applied for the fire-safety certificate, which is necessary for every building, especially infrastructures like hospitals. But the civil hospital was refused one as it did not fulfil norms."

"Till date no new application from the hospital has been received by the fire safety department," Singh added. Dr RK Karkara, senior medical officer (SMO) of civil hospital, said, "A few fire extinguishers were refilled recently. But I will make sure that all fire extinguishers are refilled as soon as possible."

On getting a fire-safety certificate for the building, Dr Karkara showed ignorance. He said he had joined the hospital last year only, and had to look into the matter. Besides, the civil hospital, even civil surgeon's office doesn't fulfil the fire-safety norms. In fact the building was declared unsafe by the public works department many years ago and has no proper infrastructure for fire fighting.

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