Mumbai: BMC orders fire audits of all hospitals in the city
BL Soni

In the wake of the recent fire incidents involving two covid medical facilities in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday ordered a fresh fire safety audit of all hospitals in the city. The audit will be conducted at all private, government, and municipal hospitals in the city and the report has to be submitted within the next 15 days.

"The audit must be conducted on a priority to ensure fire safety compliance under Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measures Act - 2006," municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal stated in his order.

On Sunday afternoon, a minor fire had broken out at the Dahisar-based jumbo COVID-19 facility of the civic body.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, the Dahisar covid centre fire is a fourth such incident in the last six months. Fire at sunrise hospital housed in Bhandup's Dreams Mall on March 26, 2021, was the Second fire incident at a covid-19 hospital in the Bhandup-Mulund belt in the last 6 months. In October 2020 two patients had died while they were being shifted after a fire broke out at Mulund's Apex hospital due to a short circuit in the generator at the hospital.

A similar audit was done by the BMC to evaluate the fire safety of all the city hospitals following a fire at the Bhandara district civic general hospital that killed 10 newborns in January 2021. The BMC had then undertaken a fire audit of all public and private hospitals in Mumbai, including the Sunrise Hospital in Dreams mall where the fire broke out last month killing 11.

The fire audit had found that of the 1,178 hospitals and nursing homes, nearly 762 establishments were not complying with the desired norms. The major violation was the non-functional fire-fighting system, i.e., absence of fire alarm, sprinklers and smoke detectors.

Chahal added, "The chief fire officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade has been directed to inspect all private, government and municipal hospitals for their fire safety compliances. In case of any shortcomings or deficiencies observed from the fire safety point of view during such inspection, action under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measures Act - 2006 shall be initiated," the order said.

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