Kolkata: The West Bengal government is mulling to mandate the appointment of fire safety officers in hospitals in the state in the wake of the AMRI fire which claimed 94 lives earlier this month, a minister said Wednesday.
"During a fire emergency, it is essential to have properly trained personnel who can decide and supervise fire fighting," Fire and Emergency Services Minister Javed Ahmed Khan told.
"We are planning to mandate the appointment of a fire safety officer in all hospitals across the state," he added.
He said the officers would be trained by the government though the expenses would be borne by the hospital authorities.
Khan said the hospitals would also have to construct ramps for easy movement of patients on stretchers as well as have an alternative source of power.
"The hospitals must have ramps. In case of any contingency, critical patients can be easily moved out on stretchers through the ramps," he said.
"There also has to be an alternative source of power supply. If because of a fire the power supply is disrupted, an alternative source of power becomes vital for undertaking rescue operations," he added.
The fire department has also been conducting surveys across Kolkata's commercial buildings, checking fire safety measures and those found inadequate are being served with directives to get them updated, the minister said.
In the worst fire tragedy in any hospital in India, 94 patients and staffers were killed in the AMRI Hospital when a blaze started in the basement of the annexe building Dec 9 and quickly spread, trapping hundreds of people.
Rescue and fire fighting operations were hampered due to power supply failure. The hospital was also found to have flouted fire safety norms.