Maharashtra energy department begins inspection at hospitals

In the wake of a spate of recent fire incidents in Covid-19 hospitals in the state, the Maharashtra energy department has started safety inspections and audit of electrical installations in government as well as private hospitals treating patients for the infection.

The main focus of the inspection and safety audit would be ICUs, AC system and lifts and the department has directed electrical inspectors to submit an audit report within 10 days.

Following an order by Energy Minister Nitin Raut, the energy department issued a circular on April 26, asking the Chief Electrical Inspector, Dinesh Khonde, to carry out an electrical safety audit in hospitals across the state.

“Due to the pandemic, the hospitals are overburdened which has created pressure on electric equipments. The continuous load on the equipment may lead to mishaps due to short-circuit. If due precautions are taken, these could be prevented,” said Raut.

“The purpose of the inspection is not to harass anyone or to target any hospital, but to ensure the safety of the patients. Considering the pandemic, some of the hospitals have increased their admission capacity which is likely to increase power consumption and subsequently cause extra load on the system. The task is now to bring to the notice the lacunae, if any, to the hospital authorities in time to prevent mishaps,” said Khonde.

According to the instructions given by Khonde to his team, it is mandatory for all Covid hospitals or centres to have a standby DG (diesel generator) set, which would supply electricity in case of a power break down.

If any Covid centre doesn’t have a DG set, the Electrical Inspector shouldn’t give it the permission to run the facility, Khonde said.