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Setting up of "Fire Task Force" in every school and imparting compulsory fire fighting training to teachers and students are some of the measures suggested by a team of three Supreme Court-appointed lawyers. The suggestions come in the backdrop of the 2004 fire tragedy in a school in Tamil Nadu's Kumbakonam district which left 83 children dead. In the latest report submitted to the bench of Justices Ashok Bhan and Dalveer Bhandari, amicus curiae and senior counsel Colin Gonzalves has also suggested that schools should regularly conduct mock drills and provide fire alarms on each floor of the schools. He has also suggested that all old electrical wirings in the schools should be replaced with ISI marked wirings and it should be made mandatory for schools to obtain a "fitness certificate" (fire) from the fire department. The bench after taking on record the report granted six weeks' time to the Centre and the States to file their response on the suggestions. The apex court had appointed the lawyers to assist it following the petition filed by a citizen Avinash Mehrotra who sought its intervention for evolving fire safety measures in the wake of the the Kumbakonam tragedy.
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