GUWAHATI, Dec 10 � The tragic death of more than 90 persons in a devastating fire in a hospital in Kolkata yesterday turned out to be an eye opener for the Assam Government, and a decision has been taken to go for a fire safety audit of all the hospitals of the State. Meanwhile, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has decided to go for a survey of all the hospitals and other high rise buildings of the city.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that an instruction would be given to the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts to go for a fire safety audit of all the hospitals and nursing homes in collaboration with the State Fire Services and they would be given 30 days time to complete the job. He said that the decision has already been taken in this regard and the formal instructions would be issued on Monday.
Sarma said that the new hospitals and nursing homes have to take a no objection certificate from the State Fire Services during the construction of the buildings but it has to be examined whether the fire safety norms are followed strictly or not. However, he admitted that fire safety norms might not be followed in some old hospitals. He pointed out that the some hospitals including some district hospitals and medical colleges were constructed before the introduction of the rule for obtaining NOC from the Fire Services and it is possible that the fire safety norms were not followed strictly in those buildings.
Sarma said that the Government would make provisions in the next year�s budget for providing fire safety norms in all the medical colleges and government hospitals. He said that after receiving the report from the Deputy Commissioners, the Government would ask the authorities of the hospitals where fire safety norms are not followed to comply with the same within a specific time frame. If they fail to follow the instructions, them the Government would have to think of harsh action, he added.