Is Andheri hospital flouting fire safety norms?

Is Andheri hospital flouting fire safety norms?

The Watchdog Foundation has raised fears about safety compliance at the Brahmakumaris Hospital in Andheri, alleging that it has not obtained a No Objection Certificate from the city fire brigade for the last 10 years. Godfrey Pimenta, Director of Watchdog Foundation and Nicholas Almeida have filed a complaint with civic chief Ajoy Mehta in this regard.

The Foundation claims that the 100-bed Brahmakumaris Hospital has four intensive care units but is yet to receive an all clear from the municipal fire brigade department. Interestingly, the hospital is located close to the K-West ward office of the BMC. In case of any fire at the hospital, the BMC ward office may also get affected and could affect important documents at the ward office too, says the Watchdog Foundation.

The hospital houses a canteen on the first floor, a compressor on the ground floor, a laundry, a warehouse and computer section in a single room, alleges Almeida. The canteen on ground floor has been constructed illegally, says Almeida.

Sources say the BMC had issued a closure notice to this hospital for flouting the rules a while ago, but  the hospital continues to function. The recent fire at the municipal Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central has raised fears about safety in public hospitals, and Almeida says the civic body should be careful as far as security of patients is concerned.

The Watchdog Foundation has demanded that action should be initiated against the trustees of this hospital and a fire audit of all the hospitals in the city should be carried out.

When contacted, chief fire officer Prabhat Rahangdale said that fire brigade officers inspected the hospital on Saturday and presented a report to the civic body. He said the BMC would initiate action after scrutinising the report.

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