KU committee fails to undertake fire safety audit

KU committee fails to undertake fire safety audit
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IRSHAD KHAN

SRINAGAR: The committee to undertake fire safety audit of buildings at the Kashmir University has failed to complete the report thus putting life and property at risk.
The members of the committee included head of the department disaster manaWWgement, Prof M S Bhat, Chief Proctor, Presidents of KUTA and KUMSA.
Constituted a day after a fire incident gutted the varsity’s Zabarwan guest house on February 22, the committee was asked to submit report within 15 days.
The committee was asked to recommend necessary fire safety measures at the varsity buildings.
However, despite getting an extension in its term, the committee has failed to complete the fire safety audit.
Prof Bhat who is heading the committee confirmed to Kashmir Reader that they had not yet completed the fire audit saying it was a “lengthy process”.
“We have to do the audit building by building. We have to analyse them one by one to look into the deficiencies and the measures to be taken at these buildings. It will take time,” Prof Bhat said.
He said there were more than hundred buildings at the varsity that had to undergo the fire safety audit.
Prof Bhat even cited the ongoing holy month of Ramadhan for the delay in the completion of the fire safety audit.
“As Ramadhan is going on, so the output is less. We will complete it within June Insha Allah,” he added. For Chief Proctor, Prof Naseer Iqbal, it has been the ‘unavailability’ of a “technical person” to carry out the fire safety audit of the campus buildings.
“It needed a technical person. We had approached the Fire and Emergency Department, but they did not respond. Then we hired a retired deputy director. He is a technical person, who is right now doing the job,” Prof Iqbal said.
The proctor hoped the audit would be completed “before Eid”.
Asked whether any specific buildings at the varsity were more vulnerable to fire, he said, “If we look at the buildings, then all of them are more or less vulnerable. We have bioscience labs here, where you have to deal with buildings.”
“Although we have fire extinguishers installed, but once the audit is completed, new installations would definitely take place,” he added. In recent years, several fire incidents have taken place at Kashmir University.
While Sheikh-ul-Alam Boys Hostel, one of the oldest buildings in the varsity, was gutted in the fire in the year 2009, Zabarwan guest house went up in flames in February this year.
The building outside the Fine Arts Department and Café Coffee Day at Naseem Bagh were also gutted in recent months.

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