NHRC notice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh over fire in Metro Hospital in NOIDA (08.02.2019)

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about a massive fire which broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Metro Hospital and Heart Institute in Sector-12, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh yesterday on the 07th February, 2019. Reportedly, 66 patients were admitted in the hospital out of which 16 were in the ICU, when the fire broke out. No one was seriously injured and all the patients were safely evacuated. Most of them were transferred to the Sector-11 branch of the hospital, which is about 500 meters away. According to the media reports, the hospital has been running without a fire safety license. The license was revoked in mid 2018 but there was an issue regarding age of the hospital and the “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) was not given by the Fire Department.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, calling for a detailed report in the matter within 6 weeks. Describing the incident as grave, it has observed that several similar incidents have occurred in the past, in different parts of the country, where many human lives have been lost. Only the critically ill patients are kept in the ICU of the hospitals. In case of a fire breaks out in such a facility, there are more chances of loss of human lives as the patients are not in a position to move at their own. It becomes strict responsibility of the hospital administration to take utmost care that the right to life of the patients, admitted in the hospital, is not violated. It is also obligatory on the part of the authorities concerned to ensure strict implementation of the relevant guidelines. They have to check that no hospital or any other institution is allowed to function without having a proper “No Objection Certificate” from the Fire Department.

According to the media reports, carried today on the 8th February,20019, the hospital authorities have reportedly blamed the authorities for delay in issuing the NOC. The Hospital authorities have stated that they had applied for renewal of licence in the month of April, 2018 online and the necessary documents were sent to the Fire Office. They have blamed that in spite of reminders given to the authorities, NOC is still awaited.

Reportedly, the cause of fire broke out in the hospital is yet to be ascertained. It is stated in the news report that according to the sources, a short circuit in the wire connected to the AC unit in the ICU, sparked a blaze. An enquiry has been reportedly ordered by the District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, UP. The Chair person of the hospital, as mentioned in the news report, has stated that the hospital has all clearances and has been following all norms. He has also stated that the staff of the hospital along with Fire safety personnel, helped in evacuating every patient as soon as they could. He has also assured cooperation with the investigation.