Fight for justice loses steam, hospital ready to open OPD

On the second anniversary of AMRI fire which killed 94 people, relatives of the victims took out a candlelight procession today in front of the hospital. They lit candles outside the Annexe 1 building and chanted slogans demanding strict punishment for offenders.

Relatives of the deceased had formed a Human Health Right Forum to seek justice bars but the movement over time fizzled out and a few remain in the forum.

Sixteen hospital officials including the directors had been arrested after the incident. Now, two years after the devastation, the hospital is all set to open its outpatient department. Hospital sources said all the clearances have been received from the fire and health department and the OPD would be functional by the end of December.

Though state health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya refused to comment on the issue saying, "If they have got the clearance, ask them to open the hospital. I don't want to comment on it."

DG (fire) DP Tarania said, "The hospital has been given a clearance to open a day care at the Annexe II and the main building and not the one which was affected. They would, as of now, not be able to admit patients here," he said.

Two years ago, the fire at the hospital started around 2.30 am at the basement and spread to the upper floors killing 94 persons, most of whom were patients admitted there.

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim today said the hospital violated the rules. "Much of the space was commercially used. I would not know about the first building but the one behind was so crammed for space that I was not able to get the fire tenders inside to douse the fire. Those who had given clearance at that time had given it illegally," he said.

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