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Fire Alarm: PGI fails to comply with norms despite reminders

Of 17 buildings, only Nehru Extension Block has fire NOC

Fire Alarm: PGI fails to comply with norms despite reminders

A gutted room in C Block of Nehru Hospital at PGI. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23

Several fire incidents at the PGI and repeated reminders by the MC Fire Department to have proper firefighting arrangements at the premier medical institute have failed to move the hospital authorities.

Comply with National Building Code: Guv

The situation has come to such a pass that Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Banwarilal Purohit had to intervene and direct the PGI on Monday to comply with the National Building Code.

Five fires in as many months

  • As per the data, the PGI has witnessed 385 fire incidents from 2016 to 2021. Five mishaps have been reported at the hospital in the past five months.
  • March 30: A fire broke out in an operation theatre on the fourth floor of the Advanced Cardiac Centre, which was the fifth incident at the PGI in the past five months
  • October 16: Sparking in UPS batteries caused a fire at the Advanced Eye Centre
  • October 10: More than 400 patients had to be evacuated after a fire broke out due to sparking at the hospital

The situation has come to such a pass that Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Banwarilal Purohit had to intervene and direct the PGI yesterday to comply with the National Building Code (NBC).

“It is very disappointing that many discrepancies were found during the inspection carried out by the Fire and Rescue Services Department of the MC, and the PGI authorities were informed about these. Still, nothing was done and the PGI authorities did not bother about obtaining the fire safety certificate,” remarked the Governor.

According to the Municipal Corporation, the PGI authorities have obtained the fire safety certificate for only one building, i.e. Nehru Extension Block, out of a total of 17 buildings on its premises.

The Engineering Department of the PGI had applied for the certificate in 2021, following which the Sector 11 fire station authorities had asked them to follow the fire safety guidelines as per the National Building Code.

The Fire Department sent regular reminders to the authorities concerned at the PGI seeking an update on the upgrade of fire safety arrangements, but in vain. The lackadaisical attitude of the authorities towards ensuring fire safety at the PGI has put lives of people at risk.

On March 30, a fire broke out in an operation theatre on the fourth floor of the Advance Cardiac Centre. That was the fifth fire incident at the PGI in the past five months.

Two major fire mishaps were reported in October last year. On October 10, more than 400 patients had to be evacuated after a fire broke out at the hospital. The incident followed another fire on October 16 at the Advanced Eye Centre. It was found sparking in UPS batteries caused fire in both mishaps.

As per the data, the PGI has witnessed 385 fire incidents in the past five years from 2016 to 2021.

In 2018, a fire broke out in an operation theatre on the first floor of the Emergency Block and around 150 patients had to be evacuated from the intensive care unit and the Emergency out-patient department to safer places.

The same year, another fire broke out at the gastroenterology ward of Nehru Hospital. Nearly 50 patients, including six from the ICU, were shifted to other wards.

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