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Home secretary to states: Ensure fire safety norms are followed in hospitals

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla wrote a letter to chief secretaries of all states and Union territories in the wake of recent fire incidents in two hospitals in Gujarat which killed 14 people.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2020 11:25:19 am
Vadodara SSG Hospital fire, Vadodara fire, Gujarat fire, Vadodara news, Gujarat news, Indian express newThe home secretary said occurrence of various fire incidents in hospitals and nursing homes in recent past and non-adherence of fire safety measures by authorities in their respective jurisdiction is a matter of concern.

Following multiple incidents of fire in hospitals in Gujarat, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Monday wrote to all states, asking them to ensure that fire safety norms in hospitals are strictly adhered to.

“I would like to draw your kind attention towards occurrence of various fire incidents in Hospitals/Nursing Homes in recent past. Non-adherence of fire safety measures by authorities in their respective jurisdiction is a matter of concern,” Bhalla said in his letter to chief secretaries of all states.

Citing the fires at hospitals in Rajkot and Ahmedabad that claimed five and eight lives, respectively, he said, “At such a crucial time, when the country is fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, utmost precaution needs to be taken to avoid such incidents in future.”

“Directorate General (Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards), in the Ministry of Home Affairs has been issuing necessary advisories at regular intervals to the States/UTs so that suitable directions may be issued to ensure compliance of fire safety guidelines/various Codes & standards and to ensure that proper fire safety measures are in place in all the buildings including hospitals/Nursing homes…. In addition, guidelines have also been issued by NDMA for hospital safety laying down the provisions to establish the minimum requirements for a reasonable degree of safety from fire emergencies in hospitals,” the letter by Bhalla stated.

It directed “all concerned to immediately re-inspect/re-check all Hospitals/Nursing Homes from the point of view of fire protection and means of escape to prevent recurrence of such fire incidences in future”. “Action taken report may kindly be shared with this Ministry at the earliest,” the letter stated.

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