File Affidavit On Status Of Fire Safety Measures At SCB Hospital Or Pay Fine, Orissa HC Warns Govt

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has warned the state government to file an affidavit on the status of fire safety measures at the SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) in Cuttack by January 16, or pay a fine of Rs 25,000.

According to sources, the division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice M S Raman issued the direction on Wednesday while hearing a PIL seeking direction for adequate fire safety arrangements at the state-run hospital. The mater was adjourned to January 24

The bench said, “Despite adjournment granted on November 9, 2022, to enable the state to file an affidavit it has not been filed. Additional government advocate DK Mohanty undertakes that the affidavit will be positively filed on or before January 16, failing which the state government will pay costs of Rs 25,000 in form of a demand draft in favour of Superintendent SCBMCH and place before the court the proof of payment of the fine on the next date.”

The bench also ordered that if no such affidavit is filed, the Director of Health will remain present in court either physically or in virtual mode.

Notably, a Cuttack-based socio-cultural organisation filed the PIL on October 13, 2015. Advocate Ajay Mohanty appeared on behalf of Maitree Sansad.

As per the petition, there were not enough fire extinguishers available in the 2,600-bed capacity hospital and if the situation persists it could lead to disastrous consequences.

The petition also alleged that after a survey of SCBMCH a special team of Fire Services had asked the concerned authorities to install fire-resistant mechanisms in all the departments. But the measures are yet to be implemented.

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