‘Of the 172 schools under the VMC's purview only 49 schools have NOCs'

Even as the Government is asking the school managements to strictly maintain fire fighting equipment and provide safety for students, the managements are ignoring implementation of the fire safety norms.

Many school managements are not following the safety norms and are not providing training to the students and staff on rescue operations, posing a threat to the lives of thousands.

The poor safety norms in schools reflect lack of coordination between various Government departments. The question is how the Education Department was giving recognition for the managements without verifying the No Objection Certificates (NOCs) of other departments?

For many private and corporate schools there was no proper approach road/space for an ambulance or fire engine to enter to take up rescue operations and shift the victims, if any accident occurs.

According to the Fire Department officials, the school managements which are maintaining G+1 stairs should have one carbon dioxide extinguishers for every 600 square metres, dry chemical powder, two water type extinguishers and four fire buckets. Buildings which are below 15 metres should maintain a hose reel system, 10,000 litres capacity water tank, fire pump with 450 litres, CO2 extinguishers, dry chemical powder and fire buckets.

Besides ladders, ropes and proper ventilation should be provided to prevent human loss during fire accidents.

Speaking to The Hindu, District Fire Officer B.V.N. Prasad, who is the in-charge under Vijayawada Municipal Corporation limits, said that a total of 172 schools were running under the corporation purview.

Out of them only 49 schools obtained NOCs from Fire Department and the fire personnel inspected 107 schools and served notices on the managements. “We instructed the school heads to arrange fire safety equipment in the schools and take NOC from the Government”, said Mr. Prasad.

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