After several delays in establishing sheds for temporary fire stations at government hospitals, a 15-day deadline has now been set to complete the works.
At the beginning of the year, officials from the Health department as well as Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services department had exuded confidence that the fire stations would start functioning in two to three weeks, but the process has been delayed.
Most government hospitals in the city have no fire safety measures in place such as hose reels and fire extinguishers. The number of patients and their attendants at tertiary care hospitals runs into several thousands. Disasters are not a distant possibility as minor fire accidents have been reported at hospitals in the past which prodded officials to swing into action.
Having crossed the expected date of inauguration, Special Chief Secretary of Health department A Santhi Kumari held a meeting with superintendents of government hospitals on Saturday where the topic was discussed. The new deadline for completion of the works is March 10.
Over two months ago, a proposal was put forth to establish the fire stations at Government Maternity Hospital, Koti, Niloufer Hospital, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital (OGH). It is expected to be a win-win situation for the Fire Services and Health departments.
Earlier, officials from the Fire Services department had said that they were keen to have more fire stations in Hyderabad as it would reduce the time taken to respond to distress calls. Health department officials, who eagerly approved the proposal, instructed superintendents of the hospitals to identify land for the purpose.
As per plan, a temporary structure will be built to park fire engines at each hospital. Fire-fighters will be allotted rooms in the hospital. Currently, either works are under way or paper work related to it is being processed at the hospitals.
Though a piece of land at NIMS was identified initially, the Fire Services department requested for land in another location which led to the delay. “It is now approved. Construction works will start soon”, said an official from NIMS. It is learnt that land at the Maternity Hospital at Koti has also been identified.
“It does not take more than a week to establish the temporary structure as it needs iron pillars. The works will be completed by March 10,” said a senior official from the department.
OGH superintendent B. Nagendar said that they have already started constructing the shed.