111 fire incidents reported at Chandigarh’s PGIMER in two years

45 of 111 cases from Nehru building; old electricity wiring and increasing load of machinery are reasons for sparking, leading to fire incidents, say officials.

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2018 15:25 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
fire incidents,fire at hospitals,PGI
Officials from the electricity department said it is the years-old electricity wiring in the Nehru building, which is the main reason behind sparking leading to fire incidents. (HT File )

A total of 111 fire incidents have been reported inside the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and 45 of these were from its Nehru Hospital in the last two years. The hospital has yet to come up with a plan to make it safer.

“All were minor fire incidents and there was no loss of life or property,” said Manju Wadlwalkar, spokesperson, PGIMER.

‘5 OTs may start functioning from April 14’
  • Five of seven operation theatres (OTs) may start functioning on Saturday onwards, mentions an official statement released by the PGIMER.
  • It says, “Repair work in five of seven OTs has been completed and these may start functioning from Saturday. Air conditioning and lights have been restored. Civil work like distemper and paint has been completed by the engineering wing. Fumigation has been initiated by the OT management committee.”
  • The committee will meet at 11am and restart the five OTs after reviewing the situation.

Officials from the electricity department said it is the years-old electricity wiring in the Nehru building, which is the main reason behind sparking leading to fire incidents.

“The hospital was constricted in 1966 and the wiring has not been changed yet. The old wiring and increasing load of machinery leads to sparking and then fire,” said an official.

Several notices sent for violations

In the last two years, several notices have been issued by the fire department to PGIMER as major violations were found in many buildings, including Nehru building.

A senior administrative officer said, “The Nehru building is one of the oldest buildings and when it was constructed, these fire safety norms were not there. Now, the officers want that there should be water sprinklers and other measures at place but for that we will have to break the wall and ceiling of the building. In a functional hospital, these things are unimaginable.”

He added, “Until the 250-bed hospital becomes functional and we shift 4 to 5 departments from Nehru building to the new hospital, we cannot start with the work.” “As of now, there is no planning for Nehru building,” he said.

Talking about corrective measures taken after the fire audit, the officer said, “Nearly two months ago, PGIMER has obtained no objection certificate from the fire department for four buildings- Advanced Eye Centre, Advanced Paediatrics Centre, Advanced Cardiac Centre and New OPD. Following this, the institute hired an official agency from Roorkee for consultancy.”

He added that the agency will submit its plan in another 20 days and after that work will start in these buildings.

When asked about the plans for Nehru building, which is more prone to fire incidents, he said, “Currently, there no plans but we are working on it.”

Cause of fire, cost of damage report on Monday

A committee constituted to find the cause of fire could not submit the report on Friday and will submit it on Monday to the director, PGIMER. Most likely, the second committee constituted to find the cost of damage will also submit its report by then.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 15:23 IST