As many as 15 hospitals have been sealed by the Thane civic body in Maharashtra for flouting fire safety norms, an official has said.
The action came after the Bombay High Court last month directed the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to seal all private hospitals and nursing homes operating without a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department.
The court issued the directive while hearing plea claiming that according to a survey conducted by the Thane fire department earlier this year, more than 50 per cent of the private hospitals and nursing homes here were ill-equipped to deal with fire incidents.
TMC's chief fire officer Sashikant Kale on Wednesday said following the court's directive, they sealed 15 hospitals in the city in the last couple of days. "These hospitals were first issued notices. When they failed to produce the NOC, we had no option but to seal these health care centres while allowing them to shift patients to other hospitals," he said.
He said licences of these hospitals were likely to be suspended or cancelled.
Following the high court's directive, a four-member committee of civic officials was formed which inspected various hospitals earlier this month and identified 15 of them for flouting fire safety rules, he said.
Among the sealed hospitals, five were located in the city's Wagle Estate area, four in Mumbra, and three each in Balkum and Naupada localities, he mentioned.
The official said in April last year, around 200 hospitals in Thane applied for NOC from the fire department. Of these, 188 hospitals were at that time found to have complied with the fire safety regulations and hence, were given the NOC.