June 1, 2021 4:03:29 am
In six separate affidavits filed by regional commissioners of municipalities across six zones of the state before the Gujarat High Court, 2,204 hospitals were operating without a valid fire NOC across the state as of May 30. In five of the zones (excluding Rajkot), 75 per cent of the 454 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals did not have a valid fire NOC, the submission stated.
Since the Covid 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 all, as per the affidavits, 5,100 schools and hospitals are without valid fire NOC and over 9,000 hospitals, schools and factory units were without valid building use (BU) permit.
In Gandhinagar zone, 852 hospitals and 617 schools do not have a valid fire NOC as of May 30. Another 934 hospitals, 669 schools and 7,171 factories and industrial units do not have valid building use (BU) permits.
The Regional Commissioner of Municipality of Gandhinagar zone, Amit Yadav, submitted that upon inspection of the total 170 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals in the zone, it was found that 123 of them did not have a valid fire NoC.
Regional Commissioner of Municipality of Rajkot zone Stuti Charan in an affidavit submitted that as of May 29, 241 hospitals and 477 schools did not have valid fire NoCs in the jurisdiction. Rajkot zone covers 30 municipalities, which includes those in the districts of Rajkot, Morbi, Jamnagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar and Kutch.
As per Charan, a total of 3,235 buildings also do not have valid BU permits, which includes 353 hospitals, 653 schools and 2,229 factories and industrial units.
In South Zone Surat, which covers 19 municipalities including in the district of Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Valsad and Tapi, 201 hospitals and 338 schools were without valid fire NOCs and 201 hospitals, 298 schools and 172 factories and industrial units were without valid BU permits. Of the 39 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals in this jurisdiction, 22 do not have valid fire NOCs. In the Bhavnagar zone, 36 of the total 38 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals did not have a valid fire NOC.
The six zones’ affidavits submit that while notices were issued to the violators, it was only with an intention “of seeking implementation of the Fire Act, the Fire Rules and the Fire Regulations…, but without taking any coercive actions, so as to avoid any harassment to the public at large, more particularly in view of the present prevailing unprecedented and precarious situation.”
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