In the wake of the Surat fire tragedy, the Delhi government has directed the city’s fire department to take immediate action for ‘closing down’ coaching institutes operating above the fourth floor in buildings in violation of fire safety norms.
The Delhi Fire Service director has been directed to “take strict action as per fire safety standards and guidelines to prevent recurrence of such accidents (Surat fire),” an official order issued by Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.
“It is further directed that as a precautionary step, in the first phase, all such coaching centres operating in high-rise buildings (having more than four floors, excluding stilt floor) shall be inspected by the director (fire service),” the order said.
“He shall take immediate action for closing down the operation of coaching institutes operating above the fourth floor in such buildings in violation of the fire norms,” it added. The inspections will start soon in areas like Mukherjee Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, and other such hubs of coaching institutes in the city, Jain said.
The Delhi Fire Service has already deputed area-wise officers to start the inspection.
According to an official, they are focussing on high-rise buildings where coaching centres are functioning and inspecting whether these centres have functional firefighting equipments, proper electrical wiring and adequate exit routes for an emergency.
Aspirants from across India come to the national capital to prepare for competitive exams. Areas like Laxmi Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Kalu Sarai, Ber Sarai, Jia Sarai, Munirka and Karol Bagh are home to several coaching centres.
Twenty-two students, including 18 girls, of an art and craft coaching institute were killed in the devastating fire that engulfed the four-storey Takshashila Arcade in Sarthana area of Surat on May 24.