Fire alarms and fuse detectors at NRS Medical College and Hospital Picture by Kinsuk Basu
The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers lays down that hospitals must have at least two fire exits, either doors directly leading out of the building or ramps, stairways, horizontal exits or a fire tower. The Centenary Building has a ramp and a staircase. But accessing both is a challenge.
The staircase spiralling up from the haematology and bone marrow transplantation department on the fourth floor is occupied by a discarded refrigerator, junk iron casings and broken wooden tools. The corridor leading to the ramp from the paediatric medicine ward on the first floor has discarded iron chairs stacked on one side. The hydrant and glass box containing hosepipes on the landing of a staircase that leads to the gynaecology ward is blocked by a cupboard and a discarded signboard.
Fire extinguishers are seen hanging from the walls Picture by Kinsuk Basu
Clogged stairways at the NRS hospital Picture by Kinsuk Basu
Fire alarms and fuse detectors
Almost all floors of the building are equipped with a modern gadget that has a display board showing a fire alarm and an electrical fuse. None of them is connected to an electrical point.
Closed gates and clogged stairways
The fire exit adjoining the neonatal ward and opposite the oncology ward on the sixth floor is locked. A trolley is seen stationed on one side of the locked gate. A small room opposite the trolley doubles as a resting place for male guards. The exit leads to a flight of steps to the next floor but the staircase is blocked with discarded gadgets, cushions and plastic bags.
On one end of the floor, beyond the oncology ward, is a seminar room and the offices of senior doctors of the department. The Swami Vivekananda Lecture Theatre and an operating theatre are located on the other end of the floor. There is a fire exit adjoining the operating theatre that leads to a room where saris are seen drying. A collapsible gate at the end of the room, leading to an emergency exit, is closed.
Fire extinguishers are seen hanging from the walls on all floors of the Centenary Building. Below each cylinder is its “service record” with three columns — date of inspection, date of refilling and due date. The due date on some of the cylinders that Metro checked seemed to have been overwritten. The handwritten due date was 2020 in one and 2019 in another.