A day after a fire broke out in the operation theatre of Galaxy Hospital on Karve Road, MiD DAY found out that the there are at least nine civic-run hospitals and dispensaries in the city that lack even the basic fire fighting equipments, thereby posing a great danger to the lives of patients undergoing treatments there, and their relatives.
According to a report prepared by fire brigade, out of 33 dispensaries, 14 maternity homes and two hospitals, which are run by the PMC, at least nine of them have blatantly ignored the fire fighting rules. Some of these do have a few fire fighting equipments, but they are in such a bad condition that they cannot be used.
The report was prepared last year and was submitted to the hospitals. According to a fire department official, none of these nine hospitals have complied with the suggestion they had offered in the report, citing lack of funds as the deterrent.
MiD DAY has a copy of the list of facilities and the suggestions given to them by the fire brigade department.
Five-storied Late Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Yerawada is the one of the hospital that has inadequate fire fighting competence. The hospital lacks 30 dry chemical powder extinguishers and eight CO2 extinguishers.
While Dr Naidu Hospital has down comer system and sprinklers, they are not all nonfunctional. Fire brigade has asked them to take necessary steps at the earliest.
The situation at Dr Kotnis Hospital is worse, as the hospital does not have any infallible fire fighting system in place.
Likewise, The Chris Rock Edward John Paul Dispensary at Lohegaon, Annabhau Sathe Dispensary at Yearwada, Damodarraoji Galande Patil Dispensary in Yerawada, Kalam Dispensary, Papusaheb Kawade Dispensary and Dadasaheb Gaikwad Dispensary too have two extinguishers each, but are in a condition that it can’t be used. Surprisingly, Dadasaheb Gaikwad Dispensary has watering system but it doesn’t have a water tank to supply water to it.
Passing the buck
Suggestions to make necessary up-gradation in fire fighting system of these hospitals and dispensaries were sent to the health department. “When we sent the suggestions to health department they reverted us asking us to make necessary budget allotment for proper fire fighting system. When we wrote back stating that the allocation should be made by the respective department, the health department sent letters to the respective hospitals and dispensaries, who then approached us,” said a fire brigade official.
Somnath Pardeshi, acting medical officer of PMC’s health department, said “We have got the suggestions from the fire brigade and we have fire extinguishers in place. Dr Naidu Hospital even has sprinklers.”
When asked about the inadequate number fire extinguishers and non-functional sprinklers, he replied, “At least we have sprinklers installed. What’s more important than that?” adding that he will go through the letter and will do the needful.