Millennium Post

The price of laxity

The price of laxity

It vanished from public memory rather fast that the lapse in fire safety norms had led to the deaths of 17 people and injuries to 35 others in a blaze that swept a hotel in central Delhi in February this year. Following the mishap, Delhi government had closed down 58 guest houses in Karol Bagh area after their fire safety certificates were cancelled for violations. And another tragedy broke out recently at north Delhi's Anaj Mandi factory building and claimed 43 lives and injured 16-20 people just last week. Yet again, a small fire broke out again at the same factory building. The small fire that broke out again at Anaj Mandi was reportedly controlled quickly after people sounded an early alarm. Most of the people claimed in this fire incident were labourers that migrated in search of livelihood, knowing little that they will end up paying with their lives. Prompt action to save lives cannot but be sufficient as in the case of massive fire incidents, most deaths happen due to inhaling too much smoke. The obvious questions to be pelted in the blazing light of such incidents are that pertaining to the condition of the building, which was being operated illegally as a factory. In what eventually turned out to be the worst blaze in 20 years, the loopholes with respect to city planning and inaction in terms of maintaining fire safety rules in the national capital come to the fore once again. With about 70 workers sleeping inside the factory when the fire broke out on Sunday, the question about human lives and the value of it looms large before recklessly materialised ambitions characterising a rapidly expanding and concretising city. The bigger question is for the authorities under whom fire norms are routinely flouted. The fact is that those 43 lives could have been saved with the help of alarms in the factory and a proper exit way, had there been one. Keeping a strict check on setting up of such establishments is the mandatory basic step for averting tragedies of this kind.

Editorial

Editorial

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