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Shrey Hospital Fire: Retired HC judge KA Punj to head judicial inquiry

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The Gujarat government on Tuesday appointed retired judge of the Gujarat High Court Justice KA Punj to head the judicial inquiry into the fire incident at Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura of Ahmedabad. Home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said a report will be submitted within three months of the judicial inquiry being ordered. 

Justice Punj had earlier also headed the two-member panel formed to look into the incidents of alleged atrocity against the Patidars following the Patidar agitation. The inquiry commission will have its headquarters in Ahmedabad.

 

The Gujarat government announced a judicial inquiry after a two-member team submitted its report on the incident. The government had formed a two-member team of IAS officers Sangeeta Singh and Mukesh Puri to report on the incident at Shrey Hospital. The incident happened on August 6.

The report was to be submitted in three days. The duo submitted the report to the state government on Monday. The report among other things states the actions taken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, FSL, Electrical Inspector, Fire Brigade as well as the Police. 

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After the submission of the report, the government said that the fire was a result of spark in some electric equipment and that it was an accidental fire. The report said it took just three minutes for the fire to spread in the ICU.

Shrey Hospital Fire

The ICU unit on the fourth floor of Shrey Hospital caught fire on August 6 at 3.30 am. The fire ended up killing eight people, all of them COVID-19 patients. The hospital was a dedicated COVID-19 facility. 

The rest of the patients were shifted to SVP Hospital. Later it emerged that the hospital had not bothered to renew its fire NOC. 

Reports also said that it did not have a functioning fire safety system in place and only had a few fire extinguishers. Leader of Opposition in the AMC Dinesh Sharma said the fourth floor of the hospital was illegally constructed and later regularised under the Impact Fee Rule. 

AMC began checking all COVID-19 hospitals

After the fire incident at Shrey Hospital, the fire department and the AMC got active and began checking for the fire NOC and fire safety system in all hospitals in the city. It began to focus particularly on COVID-19 hospitals and reports said that 50% of them did not have a fire NOC or a fire safety system in place.

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