Delhi hospital fire: LG orders ACB probe into registration of nursing homes after neonatal hospital fire | India News

NEW DELHI: In the wake of the tragic neonatal hospital fire in Vivek Vihar that claimed the lives of six newborns, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, VK Saxena, has ordered an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) probe into the registration and regulatory management of private nursing homes in the national capital, Raj Niwas officials said on Tuesday.
In his note to the chief secretary, Saxena said, “I have taken a very stern view in the matter.Though this is a transferred subject, in larger public interest, I am forced to step in, on account of the lack of seriousness on part of authorities entrusted with these responsibilities.”
“In the matter at hand regarding the tragic fire and nursing home … the ACB (Anti Corruption Branch) is directed to undertake a comprehensive inquiry into the registration of nursing homes in the city to assess how many nursing homes are functioning without valid registrations and whether those which have valid registration are complying with prescribed norms as provided under Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, and the rules made thereunder,” according to the note.
According to the Delhi Police FIR, it indicated that the hospital was operating without a license and lacked clearance from the Fire department at the time of the tragic incident. Moreover, five oxygen cylinders exploded during the fire, exacerbating the severity of the situation.
Six newborns were killed in the blaze.
The probe will also ascertain if the grant of registration or its renewal by the Health department is done after 100 per cent site inspection.
“Is there a proper check list to ensure whether the facility meets the requisite safety norms and has the medical infrastructure and professionals as provided under law? The ACB may also determine the connivance and complicity of concerned public servants of the Health department and bring out the criminal misconduct and negligence in this matter,” the note said.
Saxena said in the note that there are 1,190 nursing homes, of which more than a quarter are operating without a valid registration.
“Also, there are many nursing homes in the city which have never applied for a registration but are still operating. Even those nursing homes, which have a valid registration, may not be meeting the safety and regulatory standards as prescribed in The Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, and the rules made thereunder,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the chief secretary of Delhi and the commissioner of police to take decisive action against those responsible for the fire. In a letter addressing the officials, the NCPCR highlighted serious lapses in safety protocols observed during their visit to the hospital site on May 26.
The commission noted glaring violations of safety regulations, including the absence of emergency exits, malfunctioning fire extinguishers and alarms, and non-functional automatic water sprinkler systems. Such negligence, it emphasized, contravenes both the National Building Code of India, 2016, and guidelines set forth by the National Disaster Management Authority.
(More details awaited)

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