Pune : Neglected Firefighting System in PMC Hospital Sparks Outcry: Officials Shift Blame as Citizens Demand Action

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The firefighting system installed in the Malti Kachi Maternity Hospital of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) at Gadikhana lies dormant, covered in dust, due to the indifferent management of the PMC electricity department. Despite its crucial role in ensuring the safety of patients and staff, the system remains non-functional, posing a significant risk in the event of a fire emergency.

Over the past month, Pune has witnessed approximately 20 fire incidents, exacerbated by the summer heat. The potential consequences of a fire in this maternity hospital are dire, prompting citizens to demand urgent action from the PMC electricity department to restore power to the firefighting system.

Gadikhana accommodates several integrated municipal departments, including the Municipal Aushadh Wardhini Kendra, City TB Center, Drug Store, and the Malti Kachi Maternity Hospital. The bustling complex sees a constant influx of patients and visitors, raising concerns about the potential for a major disaster in the absence of a functioning firefighting system.

Despite the significant investment made in installing the firefighting infrastructure, which includes pumps essential for water supply, progress has stalled for over six months due to a bureaucratic standoff between the building and electricity departments. Both departments have been quick to shift blame onto each other, leaving citizens frustrated and vulnerable.

Rupesh Kesekar, an active citizen of Pune, voiced his concerns, highlighting the urgency of the situation: “The negligence surrounding the operational status of the firefighting system in Malti Kachi Maternity Hospital is alarming. With temperatures expected to soar this year, the risk of a fire incident cannot be understated. Immediate action is imperative to safeguard the lives of citizens.”

In response, Srinivas Kandul, Chief of the PMC Electrical Department, acknowledged the delay in providing power to the firefighting system, citing the pending construction of the pump foundation as a primary obstacle. However, he assured that efforts would be expedited, with electricity slated to be restored within the next four days.

As tensions rise and concerns mount, citizens continue to call for accountability and swift action from PMC officials to rectify the laxity surrounding the hospital’s firefighting infrastructure before it’s too late.

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