Sunday, February 25, 2018
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wedding hall without safety apparatus

It is indeed alarming to note that most of the wedding halls in the city and marriage pandals in rural areas are lacking in adequate fire-fighting arrangements. This revelation has come from the Fire department. Officials have been quoted to say that 150 marriage guest houses in the city and  450 temporary pandals in rural areas have either not obtained nor renewed  their licenses which are issued only after they have got  the clearance (No Objection Certificate) from the Fire safety.

If that is so, who is responsible for it? The Fire department says that  they do not have the legal power to crack the whip on these wedding houses which are flouting the wedding norms. But they should be knowing which authority has the power to enforce the safety norms. Why aren’t these authorities being reminded of this blatant defiance of safety norms which could lead to a major catastrophe any day, any moment?
What are the possible causes of such fires? One of these can be traced to cooking-gas cylinder blasts. It is  common to see the cooks using the domestic cylinders instead of the commercial ones. On this very count they can be hauled up. Then there is no guarantee that these cylinders have been provoked from proper sources or from the illegal channels which specialise in stealing gas from some cylinders to make a new one and thereafter close them without bothering about the safety measures that are to be observed. It is these cylinders, with loosely tightened knobs by the delivery lads and the pilferers which often lead to leakage and then the deadly consequences. Have the authorities been regularly raiding the premises to find out whether the halls are using commercial gas cylinders or misusing the domestic ones?

Then there is the question of short circuits. Why do these occur? Obviously because no one bothers to check the wiring at the start of the wedding season. Moreover one can easily notice that more power than the sanctioned load is being pulled. This also leads to short circuit and the consequences that follow. Have then authorities done anything to check these threats and nip them in the bud? Another serious lapse at several places is the lack of safe exit points should there be a major fire. The result is that the panicky crowds try to squeeze through a common entry and there is avoidable chaos if not tragedy resulting  from a stampede Records show that there were five fire incidents in 2012, seven in 2011 and three in 2010 in the  city alone.  In the rural areas the situation is stated to be worse.
Who will take care of this recurring threat?

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