GB Pant hospital unsafe, vulnerable in case of fire

Irfan Tramboo
SRINAGAR, May 15: The GB Pant Children Hospital in Srinagar, which houses the neonates, is unsafe and highly vulnerable in terms of measures available to tackle with the fire incidents as per the safety audit carried out by the Fire and Emergency Services.
The Fire and Emergency Department said it has repeatedly been writing to the hospital administration; however, there has not been much compliance from them. The audit has termed the children’s hospital as ‘highly vulnerable’ out of all the hospitals in Srinagar.
Bashir Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director Fire and Emergency Services told Excelsior that while most of the Valley hospitals are not up to the mark in terms of safety against fire incidents, GB Pant tops the list. “We have been carrying the safety audits of the Valley hospitals, while almost all the hospitals are not up to the mark in terms of safety, GB Pant is the most unsafe and is highly vulnerable when it comes to the safety against fire incidents,” he said.
Shah said that the department has been writing to the concerned agencies in order to seek compliance with regard to the requirements to be put in place and declare the building safe. “We have been writing to concerned agencies and have sought compliance but nothing concrete has been done,” he added.
While keeping the sensitivity of the GB Pant hospital in the mind, the civil society has been demanding that a dedicated Fire Tender Station should be placed outside the hospital in order to meet with any eventuality, however, Shah said that was not possible. “We have been able to do that at SKIMS, but that is not possible as of now,” he said.
While it took much time for the GMC and Associated Hospitals, Srinagar to wake up to the needs of safety measures, it has finally started to put in place several in-build measures including hydrants to deal with the emergencies, which is said to be insufficient.
Medical Superintendent, GB Panth hospital Dr Kanwarjeet Singh, told Excelsior that engineering wing was busy in putting in place the in-built measures and that the same would be ready soon. “In order to put in place the in-built measures, we have started the work,” he said.
Assistant Executive Engineer for the work Muhammad Lateef told Excelsior that the first phase of the work has been finished and the second phase will begin soon. “We are done with the first phase of placing in-build hydrants, now we are to begin with the second phase which is the detection phase,” he said.