The Gujarat High Court has asked the state government to take immediate action against 5,199 schools that lack a valid and subsisting NOC about fire prevention and protection systems.
The division bench of Gujarat High Court said that “fire safety in schools is often a neglected element in many Indian schools and there are no rules that are set in place for checking this aspect”.
The government doesn’t enforce fire safety and most schools still function without even the basic safety amenities, it said.
The court further said, “how can one play with the innocent lives of the students studying in such schools. If no steps are taken in this direction at the earliest, then the court may be compelled to ask the state government to cancel the recognition of such schools.”
It said schools are entirely responsible for the safety of the children and they cannot expect the government to install any fire safety provisions.
What court said about fire safety in schools
The government enforcement on fire safety in schools in India is deficient and the schools must take it upon themselves to do the necessary actions.
Schools must step up and take the responsibility to ensure that all possible safety precautions are maintained. In schools, a large number of children gather at one place and a single fire can affect all of them.
The court said most of the furniture in a classroom such as chairs, tables, and desks are made from wood and these can easily catch fire. The chemistry lab contains large quantities of flammable liquid. A fire in such places can go out of control and thus, fire safety in schools has become an extremely important issue, the court said.
The court has also asked the state government to continue the operational direction issued by the court on December 15, 2020. The matter is likely to be heard on April 16, 2021.
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