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Two units of AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria begin indoor facilities

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Nearly 31 months after it was forced to down shutters following a devastating fire that killed 91 patients and two nurses, the Dhakuria unit of the private healthcare facility AMRI Hospitals reopened its in-patient department Saturday.

"The hospital has attained all statutory clearances, including fire and clinical establishment licences as well as tradeA and environmental resume operations. Currently, we will offer an indoor facility of total 202 beds," hospital CEO Rupak Barua said in a statement.

A hospital official said two patients were admitted during the day and one was operated upon. The other patient was referred to the group's Mukundapur unit near the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

However, of the group's three buildings in the complex, the Annexe 1 unit that had caught fire Dec 9, 2011, is still closed. The indoor operations were started in the main bulding and adjacent Annexe II unit, where the out patient department (OPD) had earlier resumed operation from Dec, 30, 2013.

The hospital said the new and renovated hospital is equipped with the latest fire safety measures and meets the standard norms of the National Building Code.

The authorities allowed the in-patients department to resume operations after the hospital built a fire-exit staircase constructed at a cost of Rs. 3 crore.

The pre-dawn blaze at 3.30 a.m in the hospital located in south Kolkata's Dhakuria choked to death mostly critically ill patients -- many of them in their sleep -- and two nurses, while most doctors and other staffers were able to get away.

Following the tragedy, the new Trinamool Congress regime of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had promised the strictest of punishment to those responsible for the fire. The licences of of all the three units were scrapped a day after the incident. Most of the board members were taken into custody over the next few days. The case is still on, but they are on bail since April last year.

Sennior hospital directors called on Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna in June, and soon enough all bottlenecks in reopening the two units were cleared.

First Published: Sat, July 05 2014. 23:30 IST