NGO to approach Bombay HC with PIL seeking fire audit of city’s hospitals

A day after the fire tragedy at Bhandara, a city-based citizen's group decided to file a public interest litigation (PIL) with the Bombay High Court demanding immediate fire safety audits of all the government, municipal and private hospitals presently operational in Mumbai.

Watchdog Foundation is a Mumbai-based citizen's body which has been continuously writing to various government agencies for the past five years, following the 2015 fire incident at Hotel City Kinara at Kurla which had claimed the lives of eight students.

Trustees of the association said that in the past few years, a number of private nursing homes and hospitals have cropped up in various congested localities of the city and most of them do not have a fire safety certificate.

"In areas like Malad, Andheri, Kurla and Ghatkopar many private hospitals have mushroomed in the past few years. But they don't have any fire NOC as most of them are illegal and are located in the residential areas" Godfrey Pimenta, vice president and a trustee of this foundation told FPJ.

Pimenta further informed, in a recent RTI letter filed by one of the members the association it was revealed that 35 private hospitals in the entire M ward area (Mankhurd,Govandi, Cheeta Camp and Chembur) do not have any fire NOC.

"The BSES municipal general hospital in Andheri hasn't renewed its fire brigade permissions since 2002 and we have been writing on this matter since 2017. However, no action has been taken on this matter yet" added the trustee.

The association on Sunday had written to the chief minister, in another mail the chief minister's office responded stating - "Your email has been acknowledged by the Chief Minister's Office and has been forwarded to the Urban Development (2nd Division) for further action"

Officials of the fire brigade were unavailable for comments.

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