Nation Current Affairs 08 Dec 2016 Vijayawada: Eye hosp ...

Vijayawada: Eye hospital catches fire

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 8, 2016, 6:14 am IST
Updated Dec 8, 2016, 6:24 am IST
Hospitals on Nakkal Road fail to comply with fire safety norms.
Fire personnel control the flames at Eye Hospital at Nakkal Road in Vijayawada on Wednesday. (Photo: DC)
 Fire personnel control the flames at Eye Hospital at Nakkal Road in Vijayawada on Wednesday. (Photo: DC)

VIJAYAWADA: Fire erupted at an eye hospital on Nakkal Road in Suryaraopet on Wednesday morning. At around 6 am fire and smoke engulfed Sridevi Eye Hospital. Luckily, no one was there in the hospital at the time of the accident. Locals who observed the fire informed the officials and three fire tenders rushed to the spot and put off the fire. A short circuit in the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit has caused the fire and it caught on to the electric wires in the building. Medicine, furniture and machinery in the hospital were damaged.
The loss was estimated at `12lakh in the accident.  

The fire officers immediately evacuated the people who are living on the top floors of the building. The top two floors of the building were being used for residential purposes. Meanwhile, Sridevi Eye Hospital fire accident is an eye-opener for the other hospitals on Nakkal Road.  More than 50 hospitals are there on the road presently and most of them do not comply with the fire safety norms. As the regulations were eased for the hospitals which are in less than 15 meters height buildings, most of these hospitals are taking leverage out of them.

 

According to the new regulations issued by the department of medical and health, hospital buildings which are less than 15 meters in height need not get no objection certificate from the fire department for their registration or renewal. This regulation comes in handy for the hospitals to bypass the fire safety norms. As many as 287 hospitals in the city were identified by the fire department which are yet to comply with the fire safety norms. Another easy way out for the Nakkal Road hospitals is that many hospitals are consulting clinics. A portion of the building is only being used by the hospitals. As the single building is being rented out to various commercial purposes no one is concerned abo-ut the fire safety norms.

 

The entire building should have the fire safety requirements like having separate fire exit, staircase and fire extinguishing equipment. But many of the buildings which include the hospitals do not comply with the safety norms. Though the hospitals do not have in-patient facilities, they are densely located on Nakkal Road which is both easily accessible to the bus and railway stations. “Thou-sands of patients come in everyday with various ailments from all over the district. We are sensitising the building owners and hospital managements to put minimum fire safety measures,” said regional fire safety officer P. Arun Babu.

 

Fire safety a far cry in Guntur district:

A majority cinema halls, nursing homes/hospitals, cold storages, schools and other structures do not comply with fire safety norms in Guntur district. The fire safety equipment installation is a must to every building but majority of the building owners are violating the norms. Recently, huge chilli stocks were reduced to ashes in a cold storage fire mishap. The officials had started issuing notifications to the violators. The fire services department will offer free training about fire safety to students, social workers and NGO organisations to create awareness about fire safety among the masses.

 

Every structure has to get no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire services department after installing the fire safety equipment. There are 104 cinema halls, 146 functions halls, 474 hospitals, 26 big commercial complexes, 104 cold storages and 1,389 priv-ate/corporate schools operative in the district of which majority of them are situated in Guntur city. But, only four cold storages out of 104 had obtained NOC. Similarly, 44 cinema halls out of total 104, 29 function halls against total of 146, 115 hospitals against total of 474 and only two big commercial complexes against total of 26 have NOCs. The schools are slightly better as 971 private/corporate schools got NOCs out of total 1,389.

 

IUMLAP president Basheer Ahmed lamented that public will gather in large numbers in function halls, cine theatres, hospitals and commercial complexes but the government is neglecting the safety of the public by being negligent towards implementation of fire safety norms. Referring to the fire mishap of AMRI Hospital in Kolkatta killing 90 people and other mishaps, he demanded the government to implement fire safety norms strictly to safeguard the public.

The fire services department recently issues notices to 100 cold storages and norms violating cine theatres, commercial/shopping complexes and apartments for the installation of fire safety equipments. Guntur Chilli Yard chairman M Subba Rao said that orders were issued to the cold storages to installs fire safety equipment to curb mishaps.

 

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