Delhi blaze like tragedies can be averted

If massive corruption would have not been the rule rather than a rare exception, if planning and permission for building constructions would have been on basic parameters of safety standards, if factories, firms or shops operating from residential buildings would have been having proper permission and licences on merits, if fire audits and inspections would have been a routine practice rather than just symbolic formalities , if electric fittings and fixtures would have very regularly been subjected to professional verification and certification , if most of the political leadership would have been caring for human lives and not only for their votes and last but not the least, if administrative apparatus would have been learning lessons from tragedies like Upphar cinema in 1997 claiming 59 precious lives , again in Delhi, the instant blaze could have been prevented. Again, a devastating fire in Arpit Palace Hotel in KarolBagh New Delhi which claimed more than 17 precious lives in February this year could prove ineffective in imparting any lesson to the administration. We do not just believe nor endorse in making tempting or sensational stories out from such tragedies due to human involvement but while rueing for perishing of human lives , want the administration concerned to go in for introspection and do its assigned duties without favour , fear or any enticement.
The four storey building situated in AnajMandi in Filmistan area approachable through dingy and narrow lanes where whatever space available otherwise remains chocked and occupied by parked vehicles , carts etc , was housing illegal factory which had in its inventory, combustible substances and windows sealed and passage running through the said building occupied by sundry items and goods became a death trap when the fire broke out in the wee hours of December 8. The fire reportedly having taken place as a result of electric short circuit spread like proverbial ‘wild fire’ in no time and most of the trapped victims died pathetically due to asphyxiation while others could not survive instant burns. The ghastly tragedy claimed 43 lives and the victims were migrant poor labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh . While the hapless victims’ tragic death is mourned and sympathies for their families are emanating from our hearts , we hold the entire concerned administrative set up responsible . Can heads roll to send clear signals around as a future deterrent?
Agreed, both the BJP and the Congress parties have held the present AAP Government responsible but did either or both of them raise issues of such nature with all seriousness in the past with intent to have all such units engaged in manufacturing activities to be subjected to inspections to ascertain whether they possessed due permission and authority to carry on with their activities which were of no hazardous nature. It is a travesty that units engaged in plastics, crackers and similar highly combustible goods are very often “managing” their ways to carry on their operational activities in residential colonies and when mishaps take place , only then administrative machinery is seen waking up and most likely plunging in panicky mode.
That most of such factories and units of small scale production of items keep on flouting rules and regulations and fiddling with security and safety standards is understood but what is beyond comprehension is that there appears either sheer recklessness or complicity of the concerned authorities who are otherwise bound to act as watch dogs and sort of invigilators . We cannot draw any sort of satisfaction with the action of arresting the owner and Manager of this illegal factory and by announcing ex-gratia in favour of the next of kin of the diseased or the customary ‘magisterial enquiry’ but would like to see an action programme to scan residential areas to find out any act of violation of safety norms and to make fire and electricity audit mandatory in all such buildings which house offices, lodges , business units, commercial stores and the like . Follow up measures are necessary rather cardinal to enforcing safety measures in which there appears to be no scope of any ambiguity.