Two years after bellowing smoke from a devastating fire in its basement smothered to death more than 90 people,mostly patients,a part of the AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria reopened its doors Monday for treating the sick.
Twelve chambers of the outpatient department (OPD) on the ground and the first floor of the main building and Annexe-II started functioning today even as Annexe-I,where the fire had broken out,remains shut for want of necessary licences.
We were granted the licence to restart the OPD a few days back after several rounds of inspection, a hospital spokesperson said,adding that 20 doctors and 50 staff members were present.
More than 30 patients turned up on the first day,
he said adding that for the sake of underprivileged patients,AMRI is not taking doctors consultation fees from those who come between 8 am and 12 pm.
He said the hospital needs to comply with the fire department norms before seeking a license for admitting patients. The fire department has asked for construction of an extra staircase outside the building before it grants clearance to the hospital to open the inpatient department. The basement,where the fire had broken out,has been cleared, a senior official of the hospital said.
The AMRI authorities said they cannot specify a time frame within which the inpatient department would be thrown open.
After getting clearance from fire department,several rounds of inspection will take place followed by one by the health department. Also,norms would be laid down for procuring the trade license, a senior hospital official said.
The official said AMRI management was ready to give compensation to the families of the deceased,but was unable to do so as the matter was sub-judice. We are waiting for the verdict of the court, he said.
The fire,which had broken out around 2.30 am on December 9 in the basement of the hospital,spread to the upper floors killing more than 90 people. A committee,comprising relatives of the deceased,was constituted to seek justice and strictest punishment for those responsible for the mishap.