Special Correspondent

Hope the State government will act promptly, says FBV convener

Many schools are yet to comply with the norms, he says

No effort to enforce them in hospitals, theatres

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Forum for Better Visakha has welcomed the Supreme Court's direction on Tuesday to all the States to comply with fire safety norms for school buildings and report such compliance within four weeks, and hoped the Andhra Pradesh Government would heed the advice and act promptly.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary of the State Government, FBV convener and former Energy Secretary EAS Sarma noted that a large number of school buildings were yet to comply with the fire safety norms in the State. It was also believed that the State authorities had not so far made any tangible effort to enforce the fire safety norms on all the educational institutions, hospitals, cinema theatres and other public buildings in the State. “Our Forum has, time and again, brought this to the notice of the State government, the district authorities and the municipal bodies without much response from them,” he wrote.

He also stated that in case the State government submitted a report at this juncture to the Supreme Court that it had fully complied with the fire safety norms for schools, it would represent a factual inaccuracy.

“Against this background, we appeal to the State government to take up on a war footing a drive to enforce strictly the fire safety in the case of not only school buildings but also hospitals, Cinema Theatres and public buildings throughout the State, so as to complete the drive satisfactorily within the time stipulated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. This is particularly important in the context of the recent fire accident in Park Hospital in Somajiguda in Hyderabad and the accident in the building that houses the Hon'ble A.P. High Court,” Dr. Sarma stated.