KOZHIKODE: Putting the lives of thousands at risk, the medical colleges in the state have failed to update the fire safety systems. The warnings by the Fire and Safety department have fallen on deaf ears. On Friday, a notice was issued to the government medical college hospital, Kozhikode, by the Fire and Safety Assistant Divisional officer Arun Bhasker. But documents at the department show that this was not a lone case.
In one of the notices issued against KMCT medical college, Mukkom, the department had notified that it had not yet installed any fire safety systems in its multi-storeyed buildings. The department had issued a series of notices through Mukkom panchayat, which was later upgraded to municipality, on December 29, 2011, April 29, 2014 and June 11, 2015.
In the last letter addressed to the secretary, Mukkom panchayat, on August 5, 2015, reference was made to the Kolkata AMRI hospital fire tragedy in 2011, in which 89 people were killed. The staircases are either blocked or locked, it was pointed out.
“The KMCT medical college is functioning as if it is a government in itself. Thousands of people are visiting it and admitted to these medical colleges. Who should be responsible for their safety? The maximum crowd is reaching here on a daily basis. The safety system should be installed and upgraded at least on an yearly basis and maintained 24 hours and 365 days,” says Mr Arun.
The medical colleges also flout the norm that all the staircases should be connected to the terrace. There are not enough fire extinguishers, hose reel, wet riser, yard hydrant or automatic sprinkler. The notice also seeks cancellation of the permit of the building. Mr Arun says that the immediate intervention of the Indian Medical Council is needed to prevent a disaster.
Since the government medical college is an old building, the chances of fire are more there. In a recent fire on the campus, the smoke had reached the operation theatre and the fire and safety personnel took five hours to douse it.