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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 21:

In a startling revelation that could spell more trouble for Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Binay Kumar Behera , Director General Fire Services (DGFS), Odisha today said that his department was informed about the fire at the hospital after about 45 minutes of its detection.

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“My department was informed about the fire after about 45 minutes of its detection in the dialysis ward. Had we been informed immediately, casualties could have been less,” Behera told newsmen after holding a meeting with senior officials of Fire Services from across the state held at the department’s headquarters here.

While clarifying that his department doesn’t have powers to enforce laws pertaining to fire safety measures in high-rise buildings, malls, hospitals and hotels Behera sought for special legislation for implementation of fire safety measures  in hospitals and high-rise buildings.

The DG made it clear that fire safety clearance certificate is mandatory for all government and private hospitals.

Behera however, admitted that due to lack of proper coordination between concerned authorities his department still doesn’t possess an accurate list of hospitals functioning in the state without the mandatory fire safety certificate.

Briefing on the limitations of his department Behera said: “We can only complain but cannot lodge an FIR unless and until a cognizable offence is committed.”

He said though his department had received over 270 applications for the issuance of ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) they had to refer back 244 of those for lack of proper fire safety measures.