1000 plus Delhi Nursing homes facing closure due to Fire Safety Certificates, DMA reaches High Court
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi government on the petition moved by the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) on the issue of a fire safety permit for nursing homes constructed on the mixed land use residential plots. The petition says the norms for residential development would apply to such nursing homes.Justice Yashwant Varma observed since the respondents...
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi government on the petition moved by the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) on the issue of a fire safety permit for nursing homes constructed on the mixed land use residential plots. The petition says the norms for residential development would apply to such nursing homes.
Justice Yashwant Varma observed since the respondents are duly noticed and represented by learned counsel, let a counter affidavit be filed on the petition within six weeks. The matter has been listed on August 26, 2022, for further hearing.
The bench also granted the oral prayer of the petitioner to implead the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as a party respondent. The Court directed the petitioner also to file an amended memo of parties within one week.
Senior Advocate Rakesh Khanna, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that once the Master Plan permits a residential plot to be put to mixed use, it would be the norms applicable to residential development which would apply.
It was also submitted that the requirement of a Fire Safety Permit as the Nursing Homes are being required to obtain would not sustain. The norms as prescribed for the residential houses are in any case being adhered to by Nursing homes.
On the other hand, Standing Counsel for Delhi Government Santosh Tripathy drew the attention of the court that the requirement of a Fire safety Permit flows from a separate statute and which mandates that permit be obtained the moment the height exceeds 9 meters.
The genesis of the issue lies in the fire safety permits required for running any kind of nursing home/hospital in the city. The new norms make it mandatory for all two-floor buildings to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Delhi Fire Services(DFS) making it difficult for small hospitals and nursing homes, especially those in residential areas, who now face the risk of being shut following a change in fire safety norms.
The current norms also make it mandatory for these institutes that are two-storeys tall or higher to have a 6 metres wide access road for fire tenders. They also need to have at least 2.4 metres wide corridors and 2 metres wide staircases.
There are 1,478 registered hospitals, nursing homes, maternity homes, and health sub-centres in Delhi (NCT), according to government data. Only 103 of these institutes have a clearance certificate from the fire department