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Dreams Mall fire: Audit found inoperative fire-fighting systems at hospital after it got provisional OC

While Mumbai Fire Brigade had granted the hospital a fire safety compliance report on July 22, 2020, its May audit report had said that fire-fighting systems like wet riser, sprinkler pumps, booster pumps and pumps were non-functional at the hospital.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
March 31, 2021 4:37:35 am
Eleven Covid-19 patients had died last week after a fire had broken out at the mall.

Right after Sunrise hospital, located on the third floor of Dreams Mall in Bhandup West, was issued a provisional occupational certificate (OC) to run a Covid-19 centre, an audit of the mall conducted last May by the Mumbai Fire Brigade had found that the mall and the hospital had inoperative fire-fighting systems.

Eleven Covid-19 patients had died last week after a fire had broken out at the mall.

While Mumbai Fire Brigade had granted the hospital a fire safety compliance report on July 22, 2020, its May audit report had said that fire-fighting systems like wet riser, sprinkler pumps, booster pumps and pumps were non-functional at the hospital.

The audit was done in the backdrop of a condition mentioned in the provisional OC granted to the hospital. The audit report was sent to BMC’s building proposal department and to court-appointed Dreams Mall administrator on May 11, 2020.

Despite several illegalities in Dreams Mall, Sunrise hospital was granted an provisional OC on May 6, 2020 citing Covid-19 as “exceptional circumstances”. It became operational last October.

Fire brigade officials said that on the day of fire, except the fire alarm and smoke detector, all other fire-fighting systems were non-functional.

“The existing fire-fighting system – wet riser system, fire pump, jockey pump, sprinkler pump, booster pump, sprinkler system and smoke detection – were tested in the presence of Pona Corporation, a government-licensed agency, and personnel of (court) appointed administrative Rahul Sahashtrabuddhe from Dreams Mall, where the fire-fighting system was found inoperative. Further it was revealed that the main electricity supply of Dreams Mall was disconnected due to pending dues,” stated the May 2020 report prepared by Assistant Divisional Fire Officer V M Mainkar.

It added, “Further, I have intimated Dr Nikita Trehan from Privilege Healthcare Services Private Limited that their approval for the proposed Sunrise Hospital will be process(ed) only after rectification of existing fire-fighting system and restoration of electric supply from MSEB as well as DG set.”

Nine recommendations, including sealing of electrical cables, were made in the audit report.

The BMC officials said that after several follow-ups with the hospital, it finally submitted a fire safety compliance certificate last July. The certificate, granted by the fire brigade on July 22, 2020, stated that the hospital has complied with all fire safety norms recommended to them. “The work of providing open windows in hospital premises was not fulfilled. However, the hospital administration had given an undertaking that it will be done in 90 days. They were supposed to inform us after finishing the work,” said an official.

Officials said that even if the hospital’s fire alarm and smoke detectors were working, the main fire-fighting systems like fire hydrants, sprinklers, fire pumps, hose pipes, wet risers and underground water storage tank, which were common for the mall and the hospital, were non functional.

A spokesperson from Sunrise hospital said, “Last November, the mall was inspected by the fire brigade. It asked the mall administrator to fulfill fire safety compliances as it their responsibility.”

In an earlier statement, the hospital said, “Dreams mall has been managed by Rahul Sahashrabuddhe since 2017 by NCLT court order. The court appointed Rahul to run the mall and there is no Dreams mall management company or anyone else running it. All operations and licences of the mall are the responsibility of the court-appointed administrator. All hospital permissions and licences have been taken and are in order…”

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