Failure to learn lessons from fire tragedies rued

Heroes felicitated on fourth anniversary of Carlton Towers fire accident
Last Updated 23 February 2014, 20:18 IST

Four firemen of the Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services were felicitated on Sunday by Beyond Carlton Trust, formed by family members of the victims of the Carlton Towers fire tragedy to create awareness about fire safety norms. The occasion was the fourth anniversary of the tragedy.

G H Nagaraju, Anil Kumar, Ramaiah K and H Ramabhadraiah were facilitated for their commendable services by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. 
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Nagaraju, who saved the lives of three persons in the fire incident, stressed on the need for safety equipment such as breathing masks during fire-fighting operations.

Ramabhadraiah stressed the need for traffic clearance, “If we get proper traffic clearance, more people can be rescued,” he added. Anil Kumar highlighted the need for fire- proof jackets and Ramaiah said that hospital authorities lack seriousness in treating injured firemen. Uday Vijayan, father of a victim and founding member of the Trust, said, “Our aim is to create awareness among the public on fire safety norms so that such incidents are averted.”

Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the tragedy, which could have been averted, changed the lives of nine families forever and traumatised family and friends of over 60 people who were injured.

The MP alleged that the government had not done much to ensure that public safety norms are adhered to and said that despite repeated mishaps our preparedness for disasters remains poor. 

He said that there should be proactive planning to have the highest preparedness for any mishap. 

“A major part of our inability to provide timely fire services has to do with the way our fire services are even organised - safety apparatus in many states, including our own, are often grappling with resource crunch, lack of investment in adequate technology/equipment and lack of training on how to manage, handle and respond to such a crisis,” he said.

“Enforcement agencies lack teeth and the drive to ensure and demand compliance with norms. NOCs (no objection certificates) are obtained through unscrupulous means. More and more buildings continue to violate norms, take advantage of the loopholes in our system and authorities continue to pass the buck,” he lamented. 

(Published 23 February 2014, 20:18 IST)

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