THE CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) will be undertaking major electrical repair works in its laboratory area. The public-funded lab issued a fresh tender for carrying out maintenance works worth Rs 8.90 lakh on August 3.
The Indian Express, in its August 1 report, published on the basis of details available through RTI application, had highlighted 14 fire accidents at the lab in the last 15 years, most of which were due to short-circuits. In the process, the public-funded lab had incurred loss of Rs 7.87 crore since 2002. Of these, short-circuit alone dug a hole in the lab’s budget by Rs 7.48 crore.
Though the latest tender issued indicates urgent repair works that need to be initiated, it does not specify the exact nature of works or areas where electrical repair works would be undertaken. It has been learnt from sources that all the labs will be thoroughly checked for their electrical fittings, connections and appliances that are currently in use and operations.
Moreover, it is also believed that the electrical repairs at the NCL is a part of the ongoing fire safety audit which was recently entrusted with a private firm based out of Mumbai. “The safety audit was carried out during late last week by a firm. Some disturbing facts regarding the existing safety measures are emerging out of the same and the matter is being dealt with the civil and electrical engineers of NCL,” a highly placed source told The Indian Express. Since 2014, the NCL has spent nearly 41.59 lakh on electrical repairs in the form of either renovations, replacements of old wires and appliances, re-wiring and maintenance.