Hospital fire: CM should resign on moral grounds, says Dharmendra

New Delhi: In the wake of the major fire in SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar in the night on October 17 resulting in the death of 25 patients so far, senior BJP leader and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said the Odisha chief minister should resign on moral grounds.

“In the major fire that took place at SUM Hospital in which 25 patients died, there is a notion that the Health department is accountable to the incident. Let me clear one thing. Besides the Health department, the Home department is also equally responsible for the incident. The Fire Services department, which is under the Home department, has failed in its duty. It seems that the Fire Services department, which has a proactive role in strict implementation of fire safety guidelines, has failed to discharge its responsibility properly. I am utterly surprised that why chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who is in charge of the Home portfolio, has remained silent on this matter till date? Why the chief minister is yet to take moral responsibility and give his clarification to the people of Odisha? He should own moral responsibility as a Home minister,” Pradhan told OTV.

He said the ruling BJD leaders are trying their best to divert the main issue only to protect their high commend.

Replying to a question as to why the state government is yet to review fire safety measures in the hospitals across the state, Pradhan said the state chief secretary recently had a review meeting on fire safety measures in government office buildings while ignoring similar measures for other infrastructures. “The meeting should also have discussed fire safety measures in other private infrastructures. If the state government was keen on the safety measures in other private infrastructures, such incident would not have occurred. The government, which is not serious about these issues, should take up these matters seriously after the SUM hospital fire incident,” he pointed out.

“Our party has demanded the resignation of the chief minister on this issue. But let him have his clarification on this incident first,” the Union minister added.

Talking about the RDC probe ordered by the chief minister into the hospital fire incident, he said his party has welcomed the probe. “But the fact remains that has the RDC the guts to say anything on the lapses of the Fire Services department which is under the Home department? The ruling party leaders make tall claims that the chief minister has ordered RDC probe into the incident. My question is why the chief minister is yet to give a clarification on the gross inaction of his own department? Pradhan noted.