Hyderabad: The Telangana disaster response and fire services department on 25 April said it had issued prosecution orders to 23 hospitals in the state for violating fire safety measures.

Eighteen of these orders were issued for violating safety norms during surprise inspections and five issued for regular violation of safety measures.

According to the Telangana Fire Service Act 1999, hospitals which are above 15 meters tall have to obtain no objection certificate by following heights and setbacks as per local building bylaws and provision of fire prevention and safety measures.

The Telangana High Court also imposed penalty on four of these hospitals indicating the dangerous tinderbox conditions prevailing in these healthcare centres that are seeing a huge rush due to the second wave of COVID-19. Nineteen cases for violation of fire safety norms are under trail.

The fire department has also deployed fire vehicles at Gandhi Hospital and TIMS in case of any fire or emergency. "The fire department is closely monitoring the fire safety measures of each and every COVID-19 hospital and quarantine centre," it said.

The Chief Minister has meanwhile directed health authorities to ensure that fire safety measures are in place in all COVID- designated hospitals.

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