Maha grants Rs 12.6 crore for fire safety measures at two Govt hospitals

Kolhapur: More than two years after a fire broke out at the Chhatrapati Pramila Raje (CPR) Civil Hospital in western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, the fire safety measures at the hospital have received a further boost with the Maharashtra government sanctioning Rs 12.6 crore on Monday, March 13, 2023.  

Rajarshee Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj Government Medical College (RCSM GMC) and its affiliated hospital, Chhatrapati Pramilatai Raje (CPR) Hospital, would be using the sanctioned amount for working on its fire safety arrangements. 

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Rs 8.6 crore of the total sanctioned amount would be utilized to install fire alarms, water sprinklers and other equipment at the CPR hospital. 

In September 2020, a fire broke out at the trauma care unit of the CPR hospital, which was functioning as a dedicated COVID hospital at that time. The fire had broken out due to an electrical short circuit. Three of the severe COVID ill patients reportedly died during the evacuation process. When the fire broke out, around 15 COVID patients were admitted to the unit.  

Following the fire tragedy, a fire safety audit was conducted at the 26 buildings of the institution and it had recommended over 200 changes amounting to an expense of Rs 8 crore. Some of the infrastructural changes suggested were easy passage of patients and staff during a fire-like disaster, changes in oxygen supply lines and electrical lines for a safe oxygen supply system to wards where critical patients are admitted. 

Speaking to TOI,  a senior official associated with the hospital said, “After the tragedy, the government sanctioned Rs 1 crore to carry out temporary works. With that amount, we set up electrical installations that were necessary to avoid a September 2020-like tragedy. With the new funds, the entire firefighting system will be upgraded in the main building as well as several other buildings on the hospital premises.” 

Since the main building of the hospital is a heritage structure, the hospital authorities have been directed to take permission from the archaeology department and city heritage committee of the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) before beginning any work. The hospital has been asked to take extra care to prevent major changes in the heritage structure. 

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