The incidents of fire tragedy in the country cannot be called an accident as it is a lack of governance and mismanagement at the regulatory level. Comment.
In a deadly fire at Delhi’s Anaj Mandi area 43 people were killed in an unregistered bag factory. It serves as a reminder of the many ratholes where workers toil under dangerous conditions, without proper amenities.
Though the owner and the manager has been arrested, the administrative agencies cannot escape their responsibility for allowing factories and similar units to function illegally without audits.
While the State’s Chief Minister has been blaming lack of authority and obstruction by Centre for not being able to deliver, public safety cannot be allowed to suffer in a tug of war. A reason for chaotic urban development is allowing the recognition to illegal commercial establishments in residential zones, lack of enforcement and regularisation of illegalities.
The Present Shortcomings –
- Lack of adequate fire services in states
- Proper training of firemen personnel which lack most of the fire departments
- Inadequate equipment, their scaling and standardization
- Inadequate funding, which inhibits technological progression for fire fighting.
- Unavailability of training institutions
- Lack of infrastructural facilities – fire stations and accommodation of personnel etc.
- Lack of Public awareness, Drills are not conducted properly
- Lack of Uniform fire safety legislation
Way ahead –
- Fire Safety Audit needs to be made mandatory for all over India
- Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment (HIRA) can be focused to identify potential hazards.
- All Municipal Corporations with a population of more than one million need to put in place a fire hazard response and mitigation plan
- A portion of the grant allocated to the Urban Local Bodies need to be spent on revamping the Fire services in their jurisdiction.