THE UT Administration on Monday decided to shut down all those coaching centres that failed to comply with fire safety norms. It was also decided that those centres which will be closed down on June 28 (Friday) till they get fire NoC will have to refund the fee of all the students until the operations have been shut.
UT Sub-Divisional Magistrate Saurabh Mishra stated that orders have been issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and action would be taken now. “I have learnt that not many have complied with the orders. They were given time till June 27 and we will begin the sealing from June 28 onwards,” he said.
There are around 413 coaching centres that have been served notices for no fire safety but only seven have applied for NoC with the fire department. All operations of classes, tutorials will be stopped till the time these coaching centres get the no objection certificate from the fire department. The SDM added, “All such coaching centres will have to refund the corresponding student fee/charges to their students for the period for which they have to cease their operations in the light of these orders.”
The coaching institutes falling within the jurisdiction of all the sub-divisions of Chandigarh were asked to produce fire no objection certificate. They were also informed that in cases where they had met all the fire safety norms but were unable to get the fire no objection certificate because of delay on the part of chief fire officer, they were to convince the local Sub-Divisional Magistrates about it. The coaching institutes were also required to intimate the number of batches/classes, number of students, fee per student, time period of class/batches and fee per day of each student.
On May 24, a fire had broken out in a coaching centre in Surat, Gujarat, which led to the death of 22 students and injured several others. Later, reports revealed that the coaching classes were being run without adequate arrangements.
After the incident, the Chandigarh Administration swung into action and inspected the coaching centres. They found serious shortcomings in the fire safety system of these coaching centres. There were no proper fire extinguishers, no alarm system, no hose pipes, sprinkler system, smoke detectors etc.
Most of the coaching centres are situated in Sector 34, one above the other. Hundreds of students study there. In case of a mishap, there is no proper exit for students.