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  Metros   Delhi  11 Dec 2016  1,473 schools face fire disasters: Delhi government

1,473 schools face fire disasters: Delhi government

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUSHMITA GHOSH
Published : Dec 11, 2016, 2:06 am IST
Updated : Dec 11, 2016, 6:21 am IST

Out of the total 1,473 schools, a total of 796 are private/aided, whereas schools run by MCD stand second in the chart with 510 schools.

The DFS has taken various steps to educate and spread awareness among schools about the importance of fire safety measures.
 The DFS has taken various steps to educate and spread awareness among schools about the importance of fire safety measures.

New Delhi: About one-fourth schools in the national capital are not equipped to handle a fire incident as they lack requisite measures to combat fire mishaps.

According to data from Delhi Fire Services (DFS), either the fire “no objection certificates” (NOCs) have been rejected, or shortcomings have been pointed out for 1,473 schools out of the 5,282 school buildings that have been inspected, whereas about 3,809 schools comply with the safety requirements.

Out of the total 1,473 schools, a total of 796 are private/aided, whereas schools run by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) stand second in the chart with 510 schools.

Speaking to this newspaper, DFS director G.C. Mishra said that the schools that have not been issued NOC either due to lack of proper measures within the school premises to provide fire safety or do not have evacuation policies in place at all. “We have certain requirements for issuing NOCs that are not relaxable. But many schools are located in such congested localities and unauthorised colonies that in case of a fire, even reaching the spot becomes extremely difficult,” he added. However, those schools that have been issued the status of shortcomings have been given a 6-month time to meet the fire safety requirements.

Until 2010, the fire department issued NOC to certify the compliance with the requirement but after 2010, the department has been issuing Fire Services Certificate (FSC), which is valid for three years. Those schools which have been coming to get their NOC renewed, are now issued FSCs but with the same provisions as per National Building Code of India, 2005. It can be recalled that the Supreme Court in its 2009 judgment had made it mandatory for every school affiliated with an education board to get an NOC/FSC from the fire department.

The DFS has taken various steps to educate and spread awareness among schools about the importance of fire safety measures. “We conduct classes for principals and education officers to make them aware about the requirements of the fire department, utilising the equipments, and how to operate them. But even schools must share concern on some aspects as at times they forget to apply for renewal,” Mr Mishra said.

Nonetheless, in a bid to ease the process to obtain/renew FSCs, the DFS has decided to go online which would send a self-generated notice to the concerned schools 6 months before the renewal period. “We are working on it and might take at least a year to become functional. With this system, inspection will become much easier,” he added.

Tags: delhi fire services, nocs, municipal corporation of delhi
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi