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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:54 am

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:54 am

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Human-caused disasters must end.

Human-caused disasters must end.
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Two fire incidents in Rajkot and the national capital in 24 hours resulted in the loss of many lives, including children. These incidents highlight India’s disregard for safety regulations and authorities’ failure to address violations. A fire at a gambling arena in Rajkot killed 28 people, including four children, and rescued 40 others. A few hours later, six newborns passed away in a fire at a children’s hospital in Vivek Vihar, Delhi.
The Rajkot gambling zone, initially put up in a shed-like structure to avoid municipal permissions, did not have the necessary fire safety clearance, according to investigations.

Later, a three-story facility was erected. Visitors on the second and third floors were unable to exit due to the one stairway. The gaming zone’s fees were reduced from Rs 500 to Rs 99 during weekends and holidays, resulting in a significant increase in visitors. Safety protocols were not followed, resulting in a terrible catastrophe.
The Delhi hospital fire was caused by a lack of fire safety precautions, illegal storage of oxygen cylinders, an inexperienced doctor in charge of the neo-natal unit, and a narrow exit that made it difficult for firefighters to evacuate and extinguish the fire.

Although inquiries have been ordered in both cases, negligent owners have been arrested, and platitudes regarding stern action against the culprits have been uttered, it is likely that these incidents will be forgotten by all except the grieving families until the next tragedy strikes. There are no lessons learned about how to avert such man-made calamities. Violations of safety regulations are often overlooked by authorities, maybe for a hidden fee.

ABHISHEK VERMA


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