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Gurugram factory fire: Workers' lives compromised for earning profits

Gurugram: For finding a better job opportunity Ravinder had migrated to Gurugram, a place that was more than 800 kilometres away from his village in Mirzapur in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

He was lucky enough to get a job on a contractual basis in a garment unit.

On Sunday, his luck ran out after a short circuit in the factory, where he was working, resulted in him sustaining 75 per cent of burn injuries. He is now battling for his life. This is not a case in isolation.

In the span of six months, there have been three incidents of fire in the garment factories across Gurugram where 12 workers have been grievously injured.

The factory according to officials was operating illegally and had therefore not renewed their fire NOC.

According to an official estimate, there are over 600 garment factory units that are functioning in Gurugram most of it are operating illegally working with an unapproved building plan, less functional area, Old wires that are not able to bear the load of power and obsolete machinery.

As per rule most of the industries have to renew their fire safety license after every one year.

The fire department officials mention that most of the industries do not renew their licence as they have not got the proper documents from the authorities.

The fire department officials further claim that most of these factories do not possess adequate devices in order to deal with a major fire which further jeopardises the safety of the workers who are already working in difficult

conditions.

Even as large number of notices and even strict action has been taken against the illegal units in the past, the officials cited of the careless approach adopted by the owners in terms of fire safety.

As per officials, most of the owners try to save the costs by opening their industrial units in the residential neighbourhoods. As their business grows most of the owners then try to add more floors the units further flouting the norms.

"There is no denying the fact that most of the industries continue to adopt a careless approach as far as fire safety norms are concerned. Normally there is a designated area for the industrial units to open their bases but most of them try to save the costs by not getting constructed in the right locations. Most of the owners further avoid surveillance as they are functioning with obsolete machinery and poor conditions of working for the people who are working on a contractual basis," said a senior official from Gurugram fire department.

What makes the condition worse is the poor resources in which the fire department in Gurugram usually functions.

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