The Delhi government has begun a fresh fire safety audit of city hospitals starting with the inspection of two major hospitals, in the wake of the fire incident at a private medical facility in Bhubaneswar which left at least 23 people dead. “We conducted fire audit at Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital today and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital at Rohini yesterday. The assessment reports are still awaited,” Chief Fire Officer of Delhi Fire Service, Atul Garg told reporters.
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In the wake of the fire tragedy at SUM Hospital in Odisha’s capital on Monday, the Delhi government has ordered a fire safety audit at all its hospitals and sought a report to ensure no such mishap occurs in the national capital. The hospital in Bhubaneswar was functioning without any fire safety clearance.
The Delhi government runs 36 hospitals, with Lok Nayak Jaiprakash (LNJP) Hospital being the biggest. Incidentally, a fire broke out in the children’s ward of a multi-storeyed hospital in the national capital in the wee hours on Saturday but all patients and staff were evacuated safely.
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The incident occurred at 3:35 AM at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital at Dilshad Garden in east Delhi. Senior fire officials said the hospital has “fire safety clearance”. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had on Wednesday held a meeting with senior government and medical officials to review the fire safety measures in place in various city hospitals. He had ordered setting up of a committee, comprising of senior officials of various departments, to handle the audit.
It was also decided that dedicated teams would inspect all hospitals within seven days to ensure all staircases, corridors, roofs and open spaces are free of encroachment. “Within a month the government would finish inspection of all hospitals. The inspection would include key government hospitals such as GTB Hospital, G B Pant Hospital and LNJP Hospital,” Jain had said. “The team has also been directed to visit private hospitals so that all arrangements can be made in case of any deficiency,” he had said.