Fire safety: Focus on hospitals, schools, Gujarat govt tells HC

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The Gujarat government reiterated before the High Court on Wednesday that with respect to fire safety, the state is “focusing on hospitals and schools to begin with” and “idea is to cover each and every building” for fire NOC.

In an order, a division bench of the Gujarat HC recorded that it “expects the authorities to act time-bound since the compliance of the fire safety norms is an issue which cannot book delay… in view of the directions of the apex court and further in view that it involves life and safety of people, including class of patients and students”.

The submissions were made before a division bench of Justices NV Anjaria and AP Thaker, which was hearing a public interest litigation by advocate and party-in-person Amit Panchal, concerning fire safety in buildings in the state.

The petitioner-advocate on Wednesday also produced the report of Justice DA Mehta Inquiry Commission that probed the fire incidents in Shrey Hospital, Ahmedabad, and Uday Shivanand Hospital in Rajkot last year that killed a total of 13 patients.

The court order recorded that “parties are at liberty to assist the court on the basis of said reports”. The reports were tabled in the Assembly and made public on September 28.

State counsel advocate general Kamal Trivedi also informed the court that when it comes to fire NOC compliance in buildings, the state has improved from the “horrifying” situation nearly a year ago.

“When my learned friend (petitioner-advocate Panchal) started this litigation… it was a very horrifying figure, I must say… Because of that we buckled up and covered as many buildings as we could,” said Trivedi.



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