Synopsis: Recurrent fire accidents in India show the apathy of the government towards public safety.
- Recently, the fire accident in Mumbai hospital (located inside Mumbai’s Dreams Mall) resulted in the death of 10 people so far.
- An effective fire safety protocols could have prevented the devastating effect on lives and property.
- The tragedy points towards the failure of the government to make fire safety a systemic compulsory in public buildings.
- It has to be noted that, after a fire in Rajkot last November, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident. It issued directions, to task an officer with fire safety for each COVID-19 hospital.
What needs to be done?
- Firstly, strict measures need to be taken to implement The National Disaster Management Guidelines of 2016 in Public buildings. For example, the requirement of open space to move patients in an emergency should be strictly implemented.
- Secondly, the need for periodical assessment of public buildings on safety protocols. For example, the quality of infrastructure, specifically electrical installations, ensuring the retrofitting of structures with flame retardant materials, etc.,
- Thirdly, States must create scientifically designed public health facilities that meet the needs of populous cities.
Source: The Hindu