CM orders 'fire safety audit' in Govt hospitals

CM orders 'fire safety audit' in Govt hospitals

The system at maternity and pediatric hospital of the Jammu region at SMGS hospital is 60 years old and ‘ineffective’ to deal with major fire breakout.

Concerned over poor firefighting system in government hospitals and civil secretariat, Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has ordered ‘fire safety audit’ for them.  

Sources said that the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti issued orders after it was noticed that there has not been any safety audit at some hospitals for the last several years.

Sources said the firefighting systems in the premier hospitals of Jammu, the 900 bedded Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) and the high-tech Super Specialty Hospital are lying defunct.

The system at maternity and pediatric hospital of the Jammu region at SMGS hospital is 60 years old and ‘ineffective’ to deal with major fire breakout. 

The sources said in the 200 bedded pediatric block of the SMGS hospital, the system is non-functional and there are also no smoke censors.

“The hospital administration has many a times requested the JKPCC to make the system functional but nothing has been done. We are managing on our own by keeping fire extinguishing cylinders,” said a senior official in the hospital, wishing not to be named.

He said the arrangement is not as per norms and will prove to be ineffective in case of major fire incident.

There has never been any fire-safety audit and the order was issued by the CM after receiving reports of poor, non functional fire fighting systems in place. The order has directed the medical superintendents of the premier hospitals to get audit done in their respective hospitals at the earliest. 

Dr Ramesh Gupta, Superintendent of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H), Jammu, and Dr Dara Singh, Superintendent of SMGS Hospital, Jammu, have confirmed receiving the order. 

 “I have written to the director fire and emergency services for conducting fire safety audit of GMC,” said Dr Ramesh.

 A senior official of the mechanical wing of GMC, wishing not to be named, said: “fire-fighting system has not been handed over to the wing, which only is competent for its maintenance.” 

 “We don’t have map, layout plan of the hospital. We don’t have the plan of fire-fighting system and where the pipes have been placed,” said the official.   

According to the sources, the fire hydrant System, the smoke sensors, the water sprinklers and other allied equipments to douse the fire in the premier hospitals of Jammu region are non-functional. The smoke sensors not only sound alarm in case of break out of fire but also sprinkle water to douse fire.