Replace wiring, install underground water tanks: KU’s fire audit committee

Replace wiring, install underground water tanks: KU’s fire audit committee
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Irshad Khan

Srinagar: After a wait of eight months, a committee set up to undertake fire safety audit of buildings at the Kashmir University has finalised the report recommending fire safety measures to be taken at the varsity.
Chief Proctor of the varsity, Prof Naseer Iqbal told Kashmir Reader that the fire safety audit report would be submitted to the university administration on Wednesday.
He said the report recommends changing the electrical wire set-up, and installation of underground water tanks for fire fire-fighting, besides other measures.
The committee was constituted after the varsity’s Zabarwan guest house was gutted on February 22, this year.
It was asked to recommend necessary fire safety measures at the varsity buildings.
The members of the committee included Head, Department of Disaster Management KU, Prof M S Bhat, Chief Proctor KU, Presidents KUTA and KUMSA. They were asked to submit the report within 15 days.
The committee had also hired a retired deputy director from the Fire and Emergency Department for technical assistance.
Prof Bhat, who was heading the committee, told Kashmir Reader that they had completed the fire safety audit a few days back.
Prof Iqbal said, the committee had done a “room-to-room” fire safety audit of around 50 departments at the varsity.
Given the fact that all the major fire incidents at the university in recent years had taken place due to short-circuiting, the committee has recommended to change the electrical wire set-up, Prof Iqbal informed.
“All the three major fire incidents at the university in the last ten years have taken place due to short-circuit, so we need to change the electrical fitting,” he said.
In order to keep water readily available at the time of emergency, Prof Iqbal said that they had recommended installation of underground water tanks each having a capacity of 30,000 litres near major buildings.
Besides fire extinguishers, the chief proctor said that they have recommended installation of fire alarms inside major buildings in the fire safety audit report.
“We have also recommended high-end ladders to be installed inside multi-storey buildings including the Allama Iqbal library,” he added.
Prof Iqbal said that the exact number of the recommended installations and their location would be known once they carry out “surveying” of the buildings.
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 University of Kashmir, was gutted in 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 was also gutted a few years ago.