Mumbai: Demand for structural audit at city colleges
After increasing fire incidents, students' organisations have demanded stricter, more number of audits
All colleges affiliated to Mumbai University may have to undergo a structural audit. With several fire episodes across the city since December last year, there is increasing demand for not only a fire audit but a complete structural audit of all colleges in the city.
Concerns have been raised by students' organisations over canteens in colleges as they see heavy footfall. Fingers are also pointed at science laboratories in colleges, while urging the implementation of such audits. A demand letter in this regard was submitted to the vice chancellor of Mumbai University.
While Mumbai University has already made it compulsory to check the status of fire audits of colleges during the Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) visits that happen at regular intervals, increasing fire instances in city has set alarm bells ringing for all establishments in Mumbai.
Last year, after a short-circuit fire gutted the entire library of the Sydenham Institute of Management and Research, LICs were asked to check on fire audits conducted at colleges. Now, demands have been made for complete structural audits and not just fire audits.
"There is no strict process in which it is checked. LIC visits are not conducted very often, considering that there are so many colleges. Canteens are a problem as they double up as residences of canteen staff. This has been happening despite regulation stating that the canteen area and equipment should not be used for any other purpose. Moreover, there is no check on how gas cylinders are stored. While these are the issues with canteens, several colleges also have constant construction work happening. There are so many ways in which a tragedy can unfold," said Amol Matele, President of NCP students' wing.