Odisha govt directs Fire Services DG to inspect fire safety steps at coaching centres

Bhubaneswar: Following nationwide outcry over the tragic coaching centre fire mishap in Surat that claimed lives of 23 persons a week ago, the Home department of Odisha today asked Director General of Fire Services, BK Sharma to ensure inspection of fire safety measures at all coaching centres across the State.

In a letter, Special Secretary to Home department, SK Mishra has asked DG Fire Services to carry out inspection of all coaching centres including private ones in major towns of the State including twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The inspection will be carried out under the provisions of Odisha Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules, 2017, the letter read.

The moves comes after the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha submitted a memorandum to the Home department raising concerns about safety of students at private coaching centres across the State.

Meanwhile, officials of the Sundergarh Fire Safety department today raided eight coaching centres and three petrol pumps to inspect fire safety measures. As per reports, there was no arrangement for fire safety at the coaching centres.

The Fire Safety officials said higher-ups would be informed about the inspection and recommendations will be made against the coachng centres and petrol pumps that have violated the fire safety norms.

“The petrol pumps in the town are located in sensitive areas with shops around. Moreover, fire safety measures including extinguishers are missing. If any mishap occurs, this kind of place poses a threat. Notice has been served but the petrol pump owners are violating it. Coaching centres in Sundergarh also lack security measures,” said Rabinarayan Samal, Assistant Fire Officer, Sundergarh.

Earlier, on May 27, the officials of Fire Services department had inspected fire safety measures at educational institutions in the Twin Cities. Reports revealed that most of the institutions were having unsafe electric panel, blocked corridors and congested class rooms.

On May 24, as many as 23 people, mostly students between the age of 14 and 17had lost their lives following a devastating blaze that broke out at a coaching centre in Surat.