SUM Hospital fire mishap: Demand for action against officials gets shriller

Bhubaneswar: Demand for an action against the officials responsible for renewal licence of the SUM Hospital without a fire safety certificate, an approval from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Occupancy certificate has got louder today.

Fingers are pointed towards the authorities of the Health Department and the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) as well for observing silence despite being aware about the functioning of the SUM Hospital and its violation of norms.

Eyebrows are raised as no exemplary action has been taken against any State government officials yet, who were responsible for ensuring hospitals in the State comply with the rules, though five days have passed since the SUM Hospital fire mishap on October 17.

Kharavela Swain, president, Utkal Bharat, said, “I believe there are fault on the part the Khurda Collector and CDMO. Stricter action should be taken against the two officials as due to their carelessness 26 people lost their lives.”

Echoing similar views, Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Congress chief whip, said, “Action should be taken against the Secretary and officials who gave an approval to the SUM Hospital. Besides, a proper inquiry should be made into the mishap, adding the RDC probe was ordered with an intention to protect some officials.

Demanding action against the persons at whose level the lapses happened leading to the fire mishap, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, senior BJP leader, said, “Like the Chief Minister holds the minister responsible for the incident, the minister will pass the buck to the Secretary who will take the director accountable and the blame game goes on.”

While Health Secretary Arati Ahuja said further steps will be taken after getting a report from the RDC, the director of DMET Prakash Chandra Mohapatra stated the Khurda Collector will decide on future course of action regarding the incident.

Also Read: Odisha Health minister resigns, Opp ask Naveen to follow

Arbind Behera, a retired administrator, commented, “It is very much clear without an inquiry to understand there were lapses leading to the SUM hospital fire mishap.”

He added, “One can see what actions have been taken on basis of an inquiry report in other cases earlier.”

Refuting the charges of blame game, Umakant Satapathy, Joint Director, DMET, said, “The authorities of the directorate, the Khurda district administration and State government officials are working together and not throwing the ball into anyone’s court over the matter.”