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Govt hospitals have to renew fire clearance

NEW DELHI: All government hospitals will have to renew their fire clearance certificates within a month, said Delhi health minister A K Walia.

He held a meeting on fire-safety measures in government hospitals with officials and PWD engineers. This comes in the wake of the blaze in AMRI in Kolkata that has claimed 93 lives so far.

“I have asked medical superintendents of all hospitals to review the fire-safety measures in consultation with PWD engineers and prepare a list of steps needed. They have been instructed to renew their fire clearance certificates in a month’s time,” said Walia.

He said orders have been issued to not make the basement a dumping ground, ensure easy access to hospitals so that fire tenders could be taken inside during an emergency, get all electrical fittings checked and remove all dangling wires to avoid a short circuit.

The Delhi Fire Services had reported that there was faulty fire-safety equipment in many city hospitals. The private ward and an extension of the casualty ward of Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital in Pitampura in northwest Delhi – which was inaugurated on Friday – did not have fire clearance either.

For the first time, the state government has reiterated the need for training the medical staff on how to react in an emergency.

“We have instructed the chief fire officer to complete inspection of all government hospitals at the earliest to ensure compliance of all fire-safety norms. The fire department will also organize a training programme for hospital personnel,” said the health minister.

Sources said the fire department has called for a chief fire officer in all hospitals with 500 and more beds.

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