Fire safety measures should be strictly followed
It was a tragic incident that unfolded in Surat on Friday afternoon when 22 students lost their lives when a fire broke out at a private coaching centre in a prominent commercial complex in Surat (Surat toll 23, govt shuts coaching centre, May 26).
The fire was triggered by a short-circuit in the AC duct that engulfed the terrace where the coaching centre was housed, killing all 22 students.
The main cause of their death was that emergency escape routes were kept in a complete breach of safety regulations.
The commercial complex had permission for only one floor, but the owner of the complex violated several safety norms by illegally constructing two additional floors without requisite permission from the concerned municipal corporation.
Also, the coaching centre had illegally occupied the terrace of the commercial complex.
Following regulations and proper implementation of fire safety norms are important to avoid unnecessary fire accidents and loss of precious lives.
A holistic systems approach is conspicuous by its absence in the way additional floors are constructed without ensuring strict fire safety norms.
This fire incident highlights the laxity with which building bylaws are enforced in city.
If not put in place, such tragedies will keep repeating with harrowing regularity across the city.
This must not happen. What is needed is a systematic enforcement of licensing and fire safety norms.
Not adhering to safety norms is a criminal offence and those culpable must be punished for violations.