• People suffocate to death in the Bangalore high-rise fire case due to ill equipped fire fighters.
• Fire breaks out, claiming many lives, in the illegally built floors of Stephen court, a heritage building in Kolkata.
• Fuming fashion industry on the delay in the scheduled Delhi Fashion week, due to permission denied by the fire department.
All cases are related to fire. All the cases are of big modern cities. And all the cases reveal not only the poor disaster management capabilities of our fire fighters, but also a gross lack of awareness among the common people.
There is corruption everywhere! And the corrupt people are the most short sighted people. Their vision is only till their own profit. They can never visualize the future consequences of their selfish acts. The corrupt businessmen are equally to be blamed and punished hard, as the always infamous government departments. Stephen court in Park Street was a heritage building. How could one get permission to build new floors on a heritage building? This could simply not be possible without bribing the concerned govt. officials. After the floors were built, the issue of illegal floors too was raised and a fine of Rs. 6 lakh was imposed on the builder. Once this fine was paid, the builder got the required clearance. It is all about money. Human life has absolutely nothing to do with it! If you have money, you can get anything cleared. The builder rented out the entire building. He himself neither lived there, nor had he any office in the affected building!
The same happened in the Bangalore & Delhi cases too. The seven storey building must have had all the required permissions, but at the time of real disaster, it failed to save lives. Had the management of the Delhi Fashion Week paid some bribe, they too could easily have gone ahead with the event at the scheduled dates.
And then when a crisis occurs, it turns out to be a real crisis for the police & fire- fighters. It appears, the regular mock drills are literally mock events! The people who are called to save the helpless are equally helpless in the real situation. Do we need real accidents to occur frequently so that our fire fighters and police get enough experience?
This was all about the corruption and poor training and disaster management infrastructure of the Govt. authorities. What about the common people? Don’t we ourselves go about bribing, to get our work done? Wasn’t the Stephen court person a common man like us? The people involved with Delhi Fashion Week are fretting and cursing the Govt. machinery and the Fire Dept. for not giving them the required NOC. Whom would they blame, had a fire really broke out? They are more concerned with the loss of their client and profits, than carrying out the instructions of the fire department, which is for their own safety.
Bribing is a very simple way to get things done and relax. Rules are for fools. Let rules go to hell……..and with them we too! It is not easy to avert accidents and it is much more difficult to save lives in case of accidents.
Coming to the very common people like us, we too are to be blamed. We are so busy with our lives, earning money and comforts for ourselves, fire safety is hardly thought of when moving in a house or office. When buying a house or office space in a high-rise, do we ever give a thought to the incident of an accidental firebreak; how can we get out if ever such an unfortunate accident does happen? Never! We blindly believe in the clearances shown by the builders, who are well versed in all the techniques required in getting such clearances from govt. departments. We never actually try to think of the practical escape routes in case of accidents. The Stephen building was already packed with numerous offices, taking away even the stair space. Still people were living their too!
Whether it is the corrupt, or the police, or the fire fighters, or common people like us, we all wait for a real accident to happen, to open our eyes!