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10 coaching centres surveyed across Delhi, found lacking fire safety norms

New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) All the 10 coaching centres inspected by the Delhi Fire Service were found lacking the fire safety norms with only one exit route incase of an emergency and inadequate firefighting equipment, officials said Wednesday.In the wake of the Surat fire tragedy, the Delhi government had directed the city's fire department to take immediate action for "closing down" coaching institutes operating above fourth floor in buildings in violation of the fire safety norms.The Delhi Fire Service has formed four teams, comprising two officials each, to inspect coaching centres in Karol Bagh, Mukherjee Nagar, Laxmi Nagar and Lado Sarai and its adjoining areas.During inspection, it was found the coaching centres were functional with only one exit route as opposed to fire exits and inadequate firefighting equipment, an official said.They have been given 90 days time to ensure they fulfil the fire safety norms and incase they do not comply with, they will be issued showcause notice, he said, adding that they can also seek extra time of 90 days.The Delhi Fire Service is currently focussing on inspecting building that have a height of 50 metres or above.According to the official, during the time of inspection they see whether there is an area of six metres around the building where fire-tenders can be stationed and there are fire extinguishers in the building.Apart from these parameters, other things they analyse include the presence of a 2,500 litre water tank, 900 lpm water pump, manual electric alarm and if there is a fire or smoke check staircase for an exit route.Aspirants from across the country come to the city to prepare for competitive exams. Areas like Laxmi Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Kalu Sarai, Ber Sarai, Jia Sarai, Munirka and Karol Bagh are home to several coaching centres.The Surat fire tragedy, in which 22 students, including 18 girls, of an art and craft coaching institute, lost their lives, has highlighted poor fire safety norms being followed by the institutes, prompting the government and municipal authorities to start inspections of coaching centres.Twenty-two students were killed in the devastating fire that engulfed the four-storey Takshashila Arcade in Sarthana area of Surat on May 24. PTI SLB KJ