Fire fighting facility not functional in PMC schools
PUNE The Pune Municipal Corporation-run (PMC) claims their hospitals are well equipped with fire fighting equipment, but the civic body-run schools are yet to activate the facility.
According to Right to Information (RTI) activist Pramod Dengale, only three schools and 12 PMC-run hospitals have completed fire audits till date.
After the Bandara fire incident, installation of fire fighting systems in PMC hospitals and schools has come to the limelight.
Shivaji Lanke, superintendent engineer, building department, PMC, said, “The municipal corporation has installed fire fighting system in maximum schools. However, we are waiting to get a three-phase electrical connection.”
“We have written a letter to the PMC electrical department to provide a connection. We have installed overhead water tanks and pumps to lift water. It will take at least two months to activate the system in schools,” he said.
PMC runs a total number of 309 schools, out of which 225 are Marathi medium, 50 English medium, 34 Urdu medium and two Kannada medium schools.
At least 3,500 staff is engaged in PMC schools. Out of that, 2,500 are teaching staff and 1,000 are the non-teaching staff.
Prashant Ranpise, chief, fire department, PMC, said, “PMC building department has installed fire fighting system at schools four years back. The school board had called us to check the fire extinguishers.”
Shivaji Duandkar, who is handling the additional charge of the secondary school department, said, “We have installed only fire extinguishers in maximum schools, but we have to check their status.”
During July 16, 2004, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu fire incident, 94 children aged between eight and ten years were charred to death, 20 of them beyond recognition. As per a Supreme Court order issued in 2004, it is mandatory for all schools to take up fire-safety measures such as installing extinguishers, smoke alarms, sprinklers, adequate fire exits and evacuation training for staff and students
PMC, meanwhile, has fitted fire fighting systems at the two new e-learning schools-- one at Rajiv Gandhi Academy of E-Learning school & Science Junior college in Parvati Darshan and other KLVS e- learning PMC schools, Yerawada.