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Since 1967, Fire Safety Act left unimproved, people left in lurch
Previous regimes let JK burn without compunction
9/12/2019 10:53:11 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 12: The tall claims of those who used to beat the trumpet of representing Jammu and Kashmir are falling flat with each passing day exposing how they though their sadistic attitude pushed the state towards the precise of a disaster.
As per the records, the successive regimes in the state were indifferent to the need of having a comprehensive Fire Safety Act so that the precious lives are saved and private and public infra structure is saved.
The government, as per the officials was being briefed from time to time that how lack of basic safety measures, leakage of LPG cylinders, short circuits in residential houses etc., alone account for 80 percent of the fire incidents.
Non-implementation of Fire Force Act (1967) to ensure that safety equipments are installed in buildings has also been blamed for the frequent fire accidents. Unplanned urbanization has exposed Srinagar to many civic problems, including the vulnerability to fire accidents. In some areas of the city, houses are stacked so close together that every time a fire breaks out, there is every chance of it spreading far and wide causing maximum damage. In many areas of the city, there is no adequate fire gap between the houses and as result when fire breaks out in these localities fire brigade cannot douse the flames effectively. In the not so distant past, the city has witnessed several major fire incidents in which scores of houses were gutted because the congestion posed a major hurdle to the fire tenders.
This helplessness has been evident in some of the most congested localities of Srinagar like Maharaj Gunj where property worth crores has been reduced to ashes in recent years. While the affected people keep accusing fire and emergency services department of inaction, officials blame people for negligence. The fire management has been affected by the deficiencies pertaining to fire stations, fire fighting, rescue vehicles and manpower. The Fire & Emergency Services (J&K) was established in the year 1893 as Srinagar Fire Brigade. The fire & emergency services is presently spread over 164 fire and emergency stations all over the State. There is a dire need to upgrade the training programme for Fire Service personnel to equip them to deal with the challenges. So far instead of taking a holistic view of the problems facing effective fire management, the state government's response has at best been relief-centric. Though we often hear of ministers extending cash compensation for the fire victims, we hardly hear of any major decision being taken to avert such incidents. The 'band-aid approach' has meant that there has been no proper policy for mitigation, prevention, preparedness and fast response during fire calamities.
There are reports that the successive regimes in the state have been doing little to make JK a safe place in terms of fire safety measures. Now, when door to these shirkers has finally been shown, will the seriousness descend upon the scenes and saving peoples' lives will be made a priority? Only time is going to answer this.
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