Summer has already begun in the city and chances of electrical short circuits will increase with the temperatures rising. Overheating of electrical appliances like ACs and other medical-related equipment could be a potential fire hazard. Such negligence in safety provisions demands an explanation.

 

Earlier in November 2016, Asianet Newsable had reported how in city hospitals like Vani Vilas and Victoria hospital, fire extinguishers at had not been refilled for the past several years.

 

A few months down the line, the situation at Vani Vilas hospital remains the same. Fire extinguishers in the Gynaecology ward and newborn ward which supposedly should have been refilled or replaced in 2011 or in 2014, still fill in as fire safety measures here.

 

 

 "Once in three months these fire extinguishers should be checked and once a year should be refilled, if there is fault, it has to be replaced. I had told the authorities but they are least bothered. All they have to do is to spend just 2,000 yearly on each fire extinguisher for refilling but  they are very lazy," said K Nagaraju, Krishna Enterprises Owner, who supplied these extinguishers in 2010.

 

A reality check by Asianet Newsable, revealed that a government institution like Vani Vilas Hospital where hundreds of poor patients come every day will have no concrete measures to put off a fire were an incident to take place.

 

 

Sapna, one of the patients at the gynaecology ward was shocked to see the outdated fire extinguishers when Asianet Newsable brought it to her notice.  "We are poor and we can afford to come only to government hospital and if these hospitals are least bothered about patient safety, where do we go?" she said.

 

Medical Superintendent, of Vani Vilas, Geetha Shivamurthy said, "There are team of experts at hospitals who ensure the fire safety at hospital.” While patients are forced to risk it, we wonder what will a thorough analysis of other hospitals’ safety measures throw up?

 

 

An incident like the Uphaar Cinema tragedy or the SUM hospital fire in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha called for an immediate review of fire safety standards in such public places. For a while, officials were bothered and now since there is nothing happening, they all have forgotten about it. Did you know? Fire safety clearance is a must for hospital buildings of nine metres or having three or more floors, having 30 or more beds and one or more critical or intensive care units (ICU).

 

The question is are there ever any checks carried out to see if public institutions comply with the law? Judging by the above response – NO.