Orissa HC directs opening of bids for SCB fire safety installation, MCC notwithstanding

Of the 85 buildings in the medical college and hospital, 33 require fire safety certificates.
Orissa High Court
Orissa High CourtFile photo | express

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court directed for immediate opening of the tender bids for installation of fire fighting systems in SCB medical college and hospital without waiting for permission of the chief electoral officer (CEO), Odisha.

The two-judge bench of Chief Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Justice MS Raman held, “Since this matter is of immense public importance concerning lives of patients undergoing treatment, doctors, paramedical attendants and all concerned in one of the biggest hospitals of Odisha, we observe that if no permission is granted by the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha by May 17, 2024, the tender may be directed to be opened under the order of this Court.”

The bench directed the state counsel Debakanta Mohanty to communicate the order to the CEO forthwith. The court was hearing of a PIL on inadequate fire safety measures at the premier medical institution. Maitree Sansad, a city-based private organisation, filed the petition. Advocate Ajay Mohanty represented the petitioner. The bench posted the matter to May 20 for further stock taking of installation of fire fighting system in the 33 buildings of SCB MCH.

In an affidavit, director general of Fire and Emergency Services Sudhanshu Sarangi on Wednesday informed the court that all the projects for installation of fire fighting system in 33 buildings of the SCB MCH have been approved by the state government.

Of the 85 buildings in the medical college and hospital, 33 require fire safety certificate. The Health and Family Welfare department and Finance department had accorded the required approval for the Public Works department to go ahead with the projects. The tender process has been initiated by inviting bids. But the bids could not be opened on March 16, 2024 as the model code of conduct is in force for the general elections.

The PWD has requested the CEO, in a letter on April 19, 2024, to grant permission to open the bid by waiver of the restrictions. The finalisation of tender and execution of work will be taken up after getting permission from the CEO or when the restriction of MCC is lifted on June 4, 2024, Sarangi, who was present in person in court, stated in the affidavit.

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