110 coaching centres in Gurugram flout fire norms

A hub of coaching centres in Sector 14 of Gurugram.

Gurugram, June 11:In all, 110 coaching centres here are functioning without a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Fire Department, finds a survey. The department carried out the survey recent following the Surat fire tragedy, in which more than 20 students had died after fire broke out in a coaching institute last month.

A majority of these centres are in Sector 14 and the rest in Palam Vihar, old railway road, new railway road, and Sectors 52 and 56. It is surprising that owners of the coaching centres never applied for an NOC.Several coaching centres lack fire extinguishers, while those that have the facility, are making do with expired equipment. The lack of emergency exit points is another concern.

“A majority of coaching institutions is training students to be IAS or IPS officers, but their owners do not follow rules. Situated on first floor, coaching centres have a single passage for entry and exit. And the passages are too narrow for two persons to cross simultaneously. At any given time, more than 1,500 students study in the coaching institutes in spaces as less as 500 sq ft,” a senior fire official said.

The department has sent the survey report to the MC Commissioner for approval, following which notices will be issued to coaching centre owners.

“We have taken up the matter with schools and coaching institutions several times, but they just don’t bother. When pressure is mounted on them, they become vindictive towards our children. The administration needs to be proactive rather than waiting for a disaster to happen,” said Vikas Singla, a representative of a parents’ association.

The violation of fire norms is a serious matter and needs attention of educational institutions. The civic body will go through the survey report. Coaching centre owners will be given time to follow the rules, failing which they will be penalised. The punishment may tantamount to sealing of the premises. — Yashpal Yadav, MC commissioner