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Posted at: Jan 14, 2018, 2:14 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2018, 2:17 AM (IST)

Short-circuit in heater behind PU fire?

Short-circuit in heater behind PU fire?
The burnt heater that was found in the hostel room. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13

Though it is not yet confirmed what caused the fire at Room No. 34 on the second floor of the girls’ hostel No. 3 at Panjab University here this afternoon, a burnt heater has been found from the room, which got gutted today.

According to the PU authorities, the cause of fire could be a short-circuit.

Rhea Dutta, who was one of the occupants of Room No. 34, said she left the room as there was no power. So, when the power came it could have resulted in a short-circuit.

“The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed after forensic investigations. But it is true that a burnt heater has been recovered from the room,” said Dean Students Welfare (DSW) Prof Emanual Nahar.

Restrictions on use of electrical appliances

After the fire incident in the girls’ hostel, restrictions are expected to be put on use of high-wattage electrical appliances such as heaters and blowers in hostel rooms.

“We have called a meeting with the power department on Sunday for automatic disconnection of high- wattage appliances when used in hostels,” said the DSW.

He added “In boys’ hostel No. 6, there is a system which hinders use of high-wattage electrical appliances. It trips the power in two rooms if any one of them uses a heater or any other high-power appliance.”

“We will also get the safety of the building of the girls’ hostel No. 3 checked,” said the DSW.

PU Registrar Col GS Chadha (retd) said: “We want to see how the fire incident has happened. Because after the fire incident of May 14, 2017, we have passed several instructions and put up fire-fighting equipment. We would definitely like to help affected students but first the cause of the fire has to be ascertained.”

PUCSC Jt Secy seeks relief

Joint Secretary of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) Karanbir Singh Randhawa said, “The investigation is underway, nothing can be confirmed about the cause of fire breakout yet. But we will look into getting the wiring of Girls Hostel 3 checked. We completely stand by the affected students. We have requested the VC to get the compensation issued to the students who have suffered losses and he too has agreed to it. However, if the authorities don’t provide, the PUCSC will.”

Past incident

The fire incident on Saturday has brought back memories of fire at the Administrative block of the PU on May 14, 2017. About 300 service books of employees, 550 files of sponsored research projects, 18 advance registers, establishment check registers (ECRs) of seven-eight years, cash books of various funds and 70 per cent of the vouchers of the revenue account (non-plan) were destroyed in that incident.

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