FPJ Legal: Only 687 nursing homes in Mumbai fire compliant out of 1574, BMC tells High Court

The PIL highlights the fact that numerous nursing homes are being operated in the city without proper licences.

Narsi BenwalUpdated: Saturday, January 22, 2022, 11:41 PM IST
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Only 687 out of the 1,574 hospitals and nursing homes in the city are functioning in conformity with fire safety norms, the BMC told the Bombay High Court recently.

The civic body in an affidavit informed the court that over 800 hospitals and nursing homes are yet to conform to the rules.

This declaration was made on an affidavit filed before a bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, who is hearing a PIL filed by activist Shakeel Shaikh. The PIL highlights the fact that numerous nursing homes are being operated in the city without proper licenses.

The bench in a hearing held in November last year had ordered the BMC's fire brigade department to spell out on an affidavit the exact number of such hospitals or nursing homes, which are operating in the city.

In an affidavit filed through Yeshwant Jadhav, the deputy chief fire officer, the department stated that only 687 such hospitals and nursing homes are fire compliant.

"After completion of the inspection process as of May 2021, it was found that out of 1,574 nursing homes only 687 had complied with the fire safety measures. The Mumbai Fire Brigade issued notices to the remaining private nursing homes that had not complied with the fire safety measures. Pursuant to which few more private nursing homes complied with the fire safety measures," the affidavit stated.

"Further it was found that out of 1,574 nursing homes 487 had not complied with the fire safety measures," the affidavit pointed out.

As per the provisions of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Acts of 2006 and 2009, the fire brigade department issued notices to the private nursing homes that had not complied with fire safety measures.

"Out of 487 nursing homes to whom notices were issued 462 complied with the inadequacies related to fire safety measures and the remaining 19 are under prosecution," it added.

Further, the affidavit stated that over 115 nursing homes hadn't obtained the mandatory fire safety requirement letter from the civic department and accordingly instructions were given to the concerned authorities to suspend the registration certificates of such nursing homes.

"After completion of inspection drive, 48 nursing homes or hospitals were not found to be having Form 'C' which is the registration certificate under the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act 1949 at the time of inspection. Accordingly, the fire brigade issued instructions to authorities, including local police, to stop the activities of such nursing homes," it stated.

Commenting on the issue, Shaikh said, "It's alarming that more than 800 nursing homes aren't without the mandatory compliances of fire safety. Why aren't the authorities seizing such nursing homes? It's time some action is taken to avoid any mishap."

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