June 11, 2021 12:17:39 am
Several hospitals, commercial high rises, malls and multiplexes across the state continue to operate without valid fire NOC, with at least 20 such Covid hospitals functioning under the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) limits, state affidavits filed by fire officers of six municipal corporations before the Gujarat High Court.
The affidavits were filed ahead of the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) concerning fire safety in buildings, especially in hospitals and schools, on Friday.
RMC fares the worst among other municipal corporations with at least 243 of the total 268 hospitals and another 20 of the 88 Covid-19 designated hospitals are operating without a valid fire NOC. As per the affidavits submitted, most other municipal corporations have at least ensured fire compliance in its Covid-19 hospitals.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak last year, 36 people have died in four fire incidents in hospitals across the state, the highest being 18 deaths in a Bharuch hospital on May 1.
In the RMC jurisdiction, 27 of the total 42 malls and multiplexes are also not compliant with necessary fire safety requirements.
As per an affidavit filed by fire officer of Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation on June 7, the civic body has managed to equip all 13 Covid hospitals in its jurisdiction with fire NOC, as well as in all its 61 schools and 12 malls and cinemas.
Jamnagar Municipal Corporation has equipped all 19 of its Covid-19 hospitals with fire NOCs although of the total 128 hospitals, 34 are without fire NOCs. The civic body has issued notices to the hospitals and has sealed three of them along with disconnecting water connection in eight hospitals, an affidavit by the fire officer of the jurisdiction stated.
Of the 128 high rise residential buildings in Jamnagar, 34 are without a valid fire NOC .
In Junagadh Municipal Corporation, 49 of the 56 high rise commercial buildings with height between 15 and 18 metres are without fire NOCs and 36 of them do not have building use permits as well. In this jurisdictioin, 57 of the 64 residential high rises do not have a fire NOC.
In Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, of the 1,852 hospitals, 374 do not have a valid fire NOC as of June 1, while 72 hospitals and clinics have been closed, as per an affidavit filed by its incharge chief fire officer Rajesh Bhatt.
In Surat Municipal Corporation, 22 hospitals do not have a valid fire NOC, with an inspection revealing that over 15 of these hospitals do not have an emergency exit, as the the affidavit.
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