Passing ‘fire test’ mandatory for coaching classes in Pune

The Surat fire tragedy, which claimed the lives of 23 innocent victims at a coaching centre, has pushed state authorities to set fire safety guidelines for education centres in the city.

Vishal Solanki, state education commissioner, on June 9, issued an order to conduct fire safety audits of all schools, colleges and coaching classes in Pune district.

Solanki said, “We have issued the orders to primary, secondary and higher secondary directorates. Accordingly the officials will carry out a survey of all the schools, coaching classes and colleges in Pune district regarding their fire safety arrangements.”

The order comes after the city wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) demanded that a compulsory fire audit be done by coaching centres in Pune.

At least 23 students died and 20 were injured when a commercial complex in Surat’s Sarthana neighbourhood caught fire on May 24.

Prashant Kanojia, MNVS Pune district president, said, “In the light of the recent fire tragedy that took place at a coaching class in Surat, there have been concerns about the safety of students going to such coaching classes in Pune. Not just coaching classes, students are also at risk in schools and colleges. Most coaching centres in Pune are run illegally and are located in residential apartments, thus risking the lives of students. Hence, we have demanded that these institutes must conduct a fire safety audit.

Kanojia further added, “There are rules that mandate all these institutes to have fire safety equipment in place, however, one can find many of these institutions not following the norms, thus leaving students under grave risk. Routine fire audits need to be conducted and their reports should be sent to the fire brigade.”

Meanwhile, the Coaching Classes Proprietor’s Association in Maharashtra (CCPA) has also asked all of its members to ensure that their classes are fire compliant.

“We will visit all these classes personally to see if they have the necessary fire safety arrangements,” said Satish Deshmukh, president, CCPA.

First Published:
Jun 12, 2019 15:21 IST

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