Permanent measures can check fire tragedies, say activists
Deccan Chronicle.| Naveen Kumar
Every tragedy in the city draws a 'strict new rules would be implemented' response from government authorities and police
Hyderabad: Every tragedy in the city draws a 'strict new rules would be implemented' response from government authorities and police. In no time, this 'bravado' fizzles out; so do the 'tough measures'.
Be it the 'no petrol in bottles' rule after the Disha incident, fire safety checks at pubs and hospitals, impromptu checks on godowns following fire incidents, et al are immediate knee-jerk reactions, which in due course are left ignored and never pursued with the sincerity and consistency they require.
"We have all seen these so-called 'action against so and so' being taken in the past. This is only followed for a few days as some sort of PR gimmick," ridiculed social activists from the city.
"There is a vigilance wing in the GHMC, which has to check fire safety and other such precautionary measures as a regular exercise. However, they only come out after tragedy strikes. Officials from the corporation's fire safety wing should be pulled up for negligence and on how godown owners procure licenses from fire officials and GHMC," said S.Q. Masood, a social activist.
The Biodiversity flyover accident, in which a woman died and the accused, Kalvakuntla Milan Rao walked scot-free, saw interim measures put in place like a map-type sign to guide traffic and a 100-metre barrier from the starting point on the flyover. However, no such measures were taken when other flyovers like those at Shaikpet, Patny and Paradise reported fatalities.
The government does some patch-work and issues a tissue paper to wipe one's tears to show that they are doing something, says Devi, a cultural activist. "Why can't they sit with the department heads and draft a permanent solution? Erratic follow ups are not only not acceptable but even condemnable."
"Do they have a count of the number of schools, pubs, hospitals and hotels in the city that follow fire safety norms? The department officials must be made accountable. One of the first things is to do away with the special treatment given to VIPs on the roads. It is unpardonable that even ambulances are stopped in order to make way for the VIP convoys," Devi said.