Amaravati: Large number of hospitals as well as schools in the state may get relief from fire safety norms as the government is actively considering giving exemption to the institutions being run in the buildings with ground floor only.The hospitals without in-patient wards may also get the exemption. The government will issue a GO in this regard after a formal meeting of ministers for home, health and municipal administration to finalise the issue.
Minister for health and medical education Kamineni Srinivas has taken initiative to give exemption to hospitals from fire safety norms following requests from Indian Medical Association (AP chapter). Kamineni along with minister for home N Chinarajappa held a meeting with representatives of IMA and CREDAI at Secretariat on Friday.Kamineni said they were considering some issues raised by IMA that the hospitals having single floor and no in-patient wards need not to get NOC (no objection certificate) from Fire Department. “We decided to exempt hospital buildings that were built before 2006 but getting NOC from fire department is compulsory to the hospital buildings built after 2006 and multi-storeyed school buildings and shopping complexes” he said.
School buildings of having single floors would also be exempted. Minister for home Chinarajappa said they would go forward on this issue according to Supreme Court guidelines.IMA AP chapter president Gangadhar said there were around 4,000 private hospitals in the state and 80 per cent of them were small and medium hospitals. “It became difficult to get insurance coverage to those hospitals as fire service department did not give NOC to them” he said.
Sources said that officials suggested the ministers that the buildings of up to six meters of height will be given exemption from fire NOC. Day care clinics such as dental, ophthalmology clinics may also be given exemption if they are in single floor building.The fire service department reportedly made some suggestions categorising the building as three types; buildings of having all fire safety norms (open space around the hospital etc.) are under first category, buildings without setbacks but having fire safety equipment are under second category and unsafe buildings of fire point of view are third category.
A senior officer told The Hans India that the fire service department was on the process of identifying such unsafe buildings and notices would be given soon to the owners.Meanwhile another proposal in the meeting was to increase license renewal period to five years from existing every year for hospitals, schools and residential buildings. But, business establishments should get renewal of the NOC for every three years.