HYDERABAD: A day after a massive fire broke out in one of Surat’s coaching centres, claiming the lives of 22 students, Ramesh Kanchipuram, DCP of East Zone, took to Twitter to ask the director of enforcement, vigilance and disaster management (EVDM) to take action on ‘lurking dangers’ concerning coaching institutes back home in Hyderabad. While the officials are yet to name all coaching institutes operating without fire safety standards, Express spots many centres already putting the lives of students in danger.
Take the case of the iconic Maitrivanam complex in Ameerpet, managed by the HMDA, where around 30 coaching centres are packed in a single building. The 25 odd fire extinguishers in the six-floor building have all expired in January 2019. In addition, with a bank, post office, and other restaurants and bakeries, the building houses at least 1,000 persons, at a time. Yet, has no visible fire evacuation system.
“There are two proposals pending with the officials seeking the release of nearly Rs 45,000 for replacement of fire extinguishers,” a fireman deployed at Maitrivanam, told Express.
Even at Swarna Jayanthi complex, adjacent to the Maitrivanam, the only motors which pumps water through hydrants, is out of order. Though the problem can be tackled if officials from the fire department enforce strict vigilance on coaching centres, what comes to light is even worse. Several coaching centres in Ameerpet, Kukatpally and Dilsukhanagar have turned residential complexes into coaching centres.
‘Notices to be issued’
In the wake of the fire accident at Surat, director of EVDM, GHMC, Viswajit Kampati held that all the defaulting coaching centres will identified and be issued notices. “We will first have to compile information regarding the number and location of such centres. Then we will issue notices to all of them,” Kampati said while adding that there needs to be a ‘check’ of fire safety standards at all coaching centres. DCP East Zone, M Ramesh took to Twitter to appeal to the parents of the students studying in these coaching centres to also flag off defaulters of fire safety