While universities and colleges maintain that they follow norms and regulations prescribed for their buildings, everything is not hunky-dory.

Though norms are maintained with regard to the overall infrastructure, much is left undone about specifics.

Faculty say that some safety systems that have to be followed for different laboratories are usually missing. Construction material that has to suit buildings, which house a chemistry laboratory where strong chemicals are used, physics laboratory where radioactive material are used, or a computer laboratory where servers and other supportive equipment are used, are usually not used.

These do not have the insulations that would dull the impact in an event of fire or blast.

Also, fire equipment / fire extinguishers are not regularly maintained or serviced for usability.

A senior professor says that even if all the systems are in place, faculty and students are never briefed about the functional knowledge of these gadgets or the basics of fire fighting or any other damage control methods.

Though the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) process involves inspection of the buildings and infrastructure, those in the inspection team are mostly faculty who are not competent to check for technicalities regarding the safety norms of the buildings.

A common cause for concern is the width of the staircases in most institutions. These are not broad enough to take the volume of hundreds of students who use it on an everyday basis, but are constructed like those in a normal household. In case of eventualities whether such staircases will be able to enable quick exit of students, is a serious case of worry.

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