Indore: City’s coaching institutes, where thousands and even lakhs of students from all over the country are studying, lack basic fire safety equipments, preparation and exit routes. This means that in a case of fire, unless really lucky and prepared, most students of these institutes can lose their life. Since Indore is an education hub where coaching classes held to prepare students for competitive examination, this can mean a much worse tragedy than the one recently took place in Surat. In Surat blaze, 23 casualties were reported out of total 50 students. In Indore, coaching classes are held in private buildings, many of which are commercial buildings. Some coaching classes are run in residential apartments and even penthouses. No emergency evacuation or student training While the big coaching centres where they own the building claim to have all the necessary fire fighting equipments, they lack fire escape route. There is only one stair case and single entrance in these institutes.
Though owners and faculty claim that they organise training session for educators on use of fire safety equipments, no such training is given to students. “We have fire extinguishers outside every two class rooms for emergency,” Atil Arora, faculty at a well-known institute, said. He said teachers are trained to use fire extinguishers as and when required.“We have one staircase and single entrance, but we have two fire extinguishers on every floor and fire alarms with sprinklers installed in class rooms,” Yash Dhoot, managing coordinator at a coaching institute said. He said sprinkler system ensures students’ safety. The privately owned building has four floors with no emergency evacuation route.
Crowded coaching classes in South Tukoganj, Bhawarkuan, Geeta Bhawan, Vijay Nagar, Palasia, MG road and Mhow Naka lack escape routes for students in case of fire. Other than lack of fire safety equipments, the class rooms are congested as they accommodate hundreds of students at a time with only one door. In case of fire, students will have no route to escape and save themselves. Most of these institutes are run in commercial buildings, where many don’t own the centre. “Most of those running classes here are school teachers or small coaching class owners. We rent a couple of rooms in the building,” said Rakesh Khanna who represents a group of coaching class owners. He added that buildings have been issued fire NOCs, which is considered safe enough. “It is not a problem of one building. Most commercial buildings have it. We have limited options in city to run coaching classes,” Khanna said. coaching centres in penthouses While running classes in penthouses, many coaching class owners are cutting cost and risking life of students every day. Not bothered by overheating and increased chance of fire, these coaching classes have no emergency exit routes, safety equipments, alarms or training to handle the situation. Several coaching classes are running in penthouses including those in Bhanwarkuan and Palasia. Congestion
“Most coaching classes are run in commercial buildings and they are so crowded that we can’t even reach fire extinguisher if there are any,” said Gaurav Sharma, IT professional and native of Rewa. He came to Indore to study and prepared for JEE through a coaching institute.“Classes providing good coaching are smaller, congested, lack safety facilities and held on top floor of commercial buildings,” said banker Arif Khan, a native of Harda. He prepared for bank examination in the city and currently lives here. How to get NOC? One has to acquire fire no objection certificate (noc) to apply for fire license. The fire officer issues the fire NOC for Madhya Pradesh Fire License under Madhya Pradesh Land Development Rules. The applicant should comply with the provisions of fire safety measures contained in National Building Code. The builder or the owner of the premises is required to obtain fire NOC and should comply with all fire safety guidelines before approaching the fire officer. It is mandatory that the building work carried out should be covered by the license. Fire license ensures that businesses are carried out as per Fire and Rescue Service Regulations and that all necessary fire and safety precautions are in place. The procedure to obtain the fire license varies from state to state.