Hospital fire: Cong demands probe, compensation, jobs to kin

Bhubaneswar: The Congress party on Tuesday demanded a judicial probe into the Sum hospital fire mishap which took as many as 20 lives yesterday. Besides it said Rs 25 lakh compensation and a job to kin of each of the deceased must be given.

Addressing newsmen Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan said, “Our government didn’t learn anything from the AMRI hospital (Kolkata) fire accident in 2011 in which at least 90 people were killed. Besides the hospital authorities, I will say both Chief minister and Health minister are responsible for the incident. The State government must declare Rs 25 lakh compensation and a job to kin of each of the deceased.”

He questioned about the permission of the hospital which serves hundreds of patients a day.

“I am surprised that how no objection certificate (NOC) was given to such a big hospital in the absence of adequate fire fighting equipments. This is complete negligence by the State government. A judicial probe must be ordered into the incident and the culprits must be booked.”

Earlier in the day Communist Party of India (CPI) also sought a hike in the compensation amount announced by the hospital authorities.

“Rs 5lakh ex-gratia is not adequate. Our party has demanded the amount should be increased to Rs 20 lakh,” CPI national secretary D Raja told reporters here.

“A very high level probe should be ordered into the incident…When such big corporate hospitals are built there must be adequate medical infrastructure including fire safety measures and these must be monitored in a regular interval… This is a case of complete negligence…All lapses must be thoroughly analysed,” Raja stated.

In a related development the Fire Services wing of Odisha police has filed an FIR against Sum Hospital authorities at Khandagiri police station for negligence. Moreover, another FIR was lodged against the hospital authorities over dereliction of duty, management and shifting of patients by the joint director of DMET.