As many as 1,200 schools in the national capital, including some
top privately run institutions, are flouting fire safety norms, a
right to information (RTI) query has revealed.
While many government schools do not have basic fire-fighting
equipment, many private schools have not bothered to get their
facilities certified from the fire department.
Delhi Fire Service (DFS), in reply to an RTI application filed by
activist Manish Bhatnagar, said as many as 1,200 schools in Delhi
are functioning without a no objection certificate (NOC) from it.
These schools include well known ones like Delhi Public School,
Vasant Kunj; Amity International School, Malviya Nagar; and
Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, the RTI reply said.
Government institutions like Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya,
Mandawali; Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Sultanpuri;
and Sarovadaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Madanpur Khadar are yet to get
fire safety clearance certificates, the DFS said.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer A.K. Sharma told IANS: "Schools are
bound to follow the fire safety norms prescribed by the
directorate of education (DoE). If DoE tells us to verify if any
school is flouting these rules, then only can we start a
"We grant an NOC to a school only if it follows fire safety norms.
If that's not the case, we don't give it an NOC," he said.
He said most schools seemed more interested in admitting a large
number of children instead of providing them a safe environment.
According to fire brigade sources, many schools in the capital
start operation with a "temporary" NOC on the understanding that
they will install the necessary equipment within one year.
"Shockingly, many educational institutes never come back to the
fire department for getting a permanent NOC," said a DFS official,
Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely refused to comment
on the issue.
When IANS contacted some of the schools identified by the DFS as
alleged violators of fire safety rules, many refused to comment.
The chairperson of a popular public school in Vasant Kunj, on
condition of anonymity, said: "We have been running the school for
years and we have no problem; then where is the question of NOC
According to DFS sources, many school buildings lack basic
facilities like ventilation, fire extinguishers and proper exit
points to be used during an emergency.
According to the Supreme Court, buildings for schools should be
constructed only by a government certified engineer or by the
government works department.
The apex court's order followed a 2004 blaze that killed 93
children in a school in the Kumbakonam area of Tamil Nadu's
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