The New Indian Express | TNN | July 08, 2018.
VIJAYAWADA: The AP State Disaster Response and Fire Services has issued notices to 1,062 firms for flouting norms.
Many industries and educational institutions are included in the list. “Apart from industries and educational institutions, 200 hospitals were found to be flouting fire safety norms. It’s a disturbing number,” said K Satyanarayana, Director-General, APSDFS.
In the 175 cases under prosecution, 69 have been convicted and APSDFS has declared all these buildings unsafe.
Recently, the APSDFS made fire safety norms mandatory for buildings over six metres high and spread over 500 sq.km
“We have stepped up vigil and will increase inspections across the State. After the recent fire mishaps in cold storages, these measures become more significant,” Satyanarayana said.
The hospitals which are not following norms include Guntur kidney and multi-specialty hospital, a number of Andhra Hospitals, Praveen Cardiac Center, Latha Super Specialty Hospital, Time Line Pvt Ltd, Guntur Cancer Care Ltd, GVR Superspecialty and Kanmuri Hospital. Under the Fire Services Act, 2006, the owners of the convicted institutions can be imprisoned for one month or penalised with a fine ranging from `2 lakh to `5 lakh.
Inchem Laboratories, Sai Gluco Pharma and GS Alloys and educational institutions such as Ravindra Bharati in Proddatur and Sadhana Rural and Educational Development Society are in the list. In 2006, a Hyderabad court gave free hand to municipal corporations to take action, including cutting electricity and water supply, against institutions which are not following fire safety rules.
“Most of the institutions lack awareness about the fire safety equipment,” said Krishna Prasad, advocate of legal section of APSDFS.
Every building which hasover six metres of height must have hose reel, yard hydrant, wet drier cum down comer, automatic sprinkler system, manually-operated fire alarm system, underground static water storage tank, terrace tank, fire pump and terrace pump.