Government notice to 241 schools for failing fire safety rules
The notice was issued on the basis of a report put forward by Chief Fire Officer in June citing a list of 241 schools as “educational buildings have not complied shortcomings communicated by Fire Service Department.”Updated: Jul 30, 2019 04:48 IST
From sub-standard equipment to the width of staircases, over 240 schools in the nation’s capital failed to meet fire safety standards, says a report by the Delhi Fire Services (DFS).
The Delhi government’s education department on Friday issued showcause notice to over 100 private schools that failed in the report and directed public schools to implement corrective measures.
“The head of schools or manager of all the said private unaided recognized schools as per the list are directed to submit their explanation for not having a valid fire safety certificate within seven days, failing which action will be taken for withdrawal of recognition against the concerned school,” the showcause notice stated.
A department of education (DOE) official said a copy of the notice was also marked to Chief Fire Officer requesting them to inspect the private unaided recognized schools mentioned in the list again.
“We have directed the Delhi government schools on the list to immediately implement corrective measures with the help of Public Works Department and secure valid fire safety certificates without any delay,” director of Education Binay Bhushan said. An official of the south municipal corporation said the process to secure fire safety certificates for their schools was underway.
The notice was issued on the basis of a report put forward by the Chief Fire Officer in June citing a list of 241 schools as the “educational buildings have not complied the shortcomings communicated by the Fire Service Department.” DFS had also requested the DOE to take necessary action in the matter under intimation to the fire services department.
Chief fire officer Atul Garg said, “It will be difficult to list the school-specific shortcomings but generally schools were found to have substandard fire-fighting arrangements, expired or defunct fire extinguishers, the width of staircases was not as per required measurements, fewer water tankers, among other things. Some classrooms, which had over 40 students, were found to have one door instead of the mandated two doors. However, it is an ongoing and dynamic process. Schools keep applying for such certificates and get clearances accordingly.”
The principal of a south Delhi school, which was included in the list, said, “Our old building was demolished and a new building has been constructed. So the process to secure a fire safety certificate for the new building is currently underway. We have followed all norms and have fire hydrants in place among other things. We are confident of getting the certificate soon.”
The administration of a private school in West Delhi too said the process to secure a certificate for its school was underway. “We have water hydrants, fire extinguishers and all the necessary fire fighting equipment. However, sometimes the certificate is held up due to unintentional minor technical deficiencies like the door on the terrace might open inwards instead of outwards.”
First Published: Jul 29, 2019 23:03 IST