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Safety hazard: 542 schools in Ahmedabad lack fire NOC

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Lakshmi Patel, Ahmedabad: Five hundred forty-two schools in Ahmedabad lack a fire NOC. This shocking figure came to light after the Education Department in Gujarat issued a notification asking schools to ensure that they have the mandatory NOC.

Of the total 16,187 schools in the state, only 3,221 schools have a fire NOC. The situation prevails despite 22 children losing their lives in a fire in a tuition class in Surat 2.5 years ago.

As schools lined up to get the NOC, it has emerged that of the 1,003 secondary and higher secondary schools in Ahmedabad just 461 have a fire NOC. This means 542 schools lack a NOC.

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The education department had in a notification asked the schools to get the fire NOC within a fortnight. What is interesting is that many schools that are seeking NOC don’t have buildings that are compliant with fire safety norms for schools.

In all, 12,277 schools in the state have no NOC.

Why fire department is finding it difficult to issue fire NOC?

Fire department officials said that the education department should have checked for NOC before giving the schools permission to start functioning.

Moreover while issuing the notification the education department should have asked the schools to ensure that their buildings are as per the Fire Safety Act before seeking the fire NOC.

The official said schools are scrambling to get the NOC but the fire department can’t issue the same until the structures are constructed to comply with School Fire Safety norms.

 

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