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Makaliyam Institute of Fire Safety Training faces allegations of licence fraud

The ASFP is preparing to resume face-to-face classroom training on Passive Fire Protection in Dublin and Coventry on Wednesday 8 July.

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Background of the incident

In Kochi, the Makaliyam Institute of Fire Safety Training (IFST) has been embroiled in a controversy after allegations of licence fraud.

The institute, situated in Irumpanam, is accused of issuing licences for handling vehicles carrying hazardous goods without providing mandatory training.

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) unearthed these malpractices following an investigation.

Mandatory training requirements

According to the Motor Vehicles Rules, a three-day training on fire and safety is essential for drivers of vehicles transporting hazardous materials like petroleum products and acids.

Upon successful completion, these drivers are eligible for a driving licence.

The MVD official explained: “Besides the institutes run by MVD, several private institutions in Kerala, including the Makaliyam IFST in Ernakulam, are authorised to impart the three-day training to drivers and then issue hazardous category licences.”

Investigation and consequences

However, the MVD launched a sting operation against the IFST after receiving a tip-off.

This operation revealed that the institute was awarding certificates to individuals who did not attend the training sessions.

An MVD officer disclosed: “One of our officers attended the three-day training from December 26 to December 28.

“It was found the institute was giving certificates to people who did not even attend the sessions.

“Some who attended the sessions for just a few hours were also given certificates of successful completion of the three-day training.”

Following the probe, the MVD decided to shut down the institute.

The decision was based on the serious implications of such malpractice, particularly in Ernakulam district, which sees the highest movement of vehicles carrying hazardous goods in the state due to the operation of oil and gas companies.

The institute was reportedly charging extra to issue certificates to ineligible drivers.

Subsequently, the MVD lodged a complaint with the Hill Palace police station. “A case has been registered for cheating and criminal breach of trust.

“We have just launched the probe. We will question the proprietor of the institute soon,” stated a police officer.

IFSJ Comment

The Makaliyam Institute of Fire Safety Training’s alleged involvement in licence fraud raises significant concerns about the integrity and safety standards in the fire and safety training sector.

This incident underscores the importance of rigorous adherence to training requirements, especially in fields that directly impact public safety.

As the case unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the need for continuous vigilance and strict enforcement of safety regulations in the fire and safety industry.

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