Time to make fire safety an election issue in Bengaluru

There are repeated fire accidents in the city and elsewhere. What are our political parties doing about it, what can they do?

Dear Parties contesting in the Karnataka State Elections,

Have you considered including Fire Safety in your election manifesto for the forthcoming election? If
not, we urge you to do so. And here is why.

There have been a spate of fire accidents in our country these past couple of months – be it at a liquor
shop in Bengaluru or a hotel in Mumbai, or some other building in another city, town or village.

In fact, as per NCRB 2015 data pertaining to Karnataka:

 1244 died in fire accidents in 1 year
 Of these, 781 were women and 463 men
 Cooking gas burst fires were the major reason for deaths (338)
 Electrical short circuits caused 118 deaths
 Over 50% of deaths in commercial establishments in India were from Karnataka

While the cause of these accidents may have been different, what is common is the glaring near-callous disregard to fire safety in our state, inadequate policies and checks and balances that, if in place, could well prevent such accidents from taking place in the first place.

Most fire accidents are avoidable if certain norms are diligently followed by all stake holders – builders, residents, office goers, sanctioning authorities… All. In today’s scenario, this would be possible only if people at decision making levels take up the cause of Fire Safety and pass the necessary legislations which would make Fire Safety measures mandatory.

In this regard, we at Beyond Carlton (www.beyondcarlton.org), India’s only citizen’s initiative on fire
safety, request that each and every party contesting in the forthcoming Karnataka State elections
include the following points as a part of their election manifestos:

1. Link fire safety standards set in the National building Code
(http://ndrfandcd.gov.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/file/F03.pdf) for granting / sanctioning plans
approvals by municipal authorities

2. Review and align existing legislations for granting statutory approvals for residences,
businesses and industries (like the state excise legislations) keeping fire safety as the prime
consideration.

3. Take cognizance and take strict action against licensed high density establishments(like
hospitals, malls, educational institutions, etc.) which compromise on fire safety.

4. Introduce fire safety standards for ALL buildings of all heights and not only for those which are
over 15 metres high

5. Increase substantially the number of fire safety personnel, sanction better quality fire-fighting equipment, and conduct periodic training programmes for the fire-fighters and first responders. The focus of the Fire Department must shift from fire-fighting to fire prevention.

6. Empower the fire department to be the final authority on licensing / cancelling licences of buildings that violate prescribed fire safety norms.

7. Ensure that Real Estate Regulatory Authority does not accord approvals for new building projects, unless the builders include fire safety related requirements in agreements for sale, sale deeds and construction agreements as a condition for sale to purchasers.

8. Declare ‘Right to Safety’ as an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution and suitably incorporate safety education in the State’s school and college curriculum.

We urge each and every political party and all candidates across party lines, to commit to the urgent need for implementation of the above mentioned points.

A fire knows no religion, no sex, no VIP / common man.

A fire never cares who it burns. You or a dear one could well be its next victim. Let us all work towards preventing that. We would await and welcome parties who would like to have a discussion with us on any aspect of fire safety.

Let’s make Karnataka fire-safe!

Comments:

  1. Ravi Kiran says:

    There are gas filling companies running in my locality which is actually like a time bomb. We never know when a disaster will occur. We have written 100’s of letters to the corporator and BBMP. If they do not take steps in ensuring the citizens safety, we shall not vote for you in this upcoming elections. We see that you do not care about our lives.I strongly believe that fire safety should be in the upcoming election manifesto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Lok Sabha elections 2024: East Delhi — Know your constituency and candidates

BJP candidate Harsh Malhotra is up against AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar in East Delhi. Take a look at their profiles and of others in the fray.

Table of contentsAbout the constituencyMap of the constituencyFind your polling boothIncumbent MP : Gautam Gambhir, BJPOnline presenceCriminal casesPositions HeldPerformance in ParliamentMPLAD funds utilisationCandidates contesting in 2024Key candidates in the newsIssues of the constituencyAlso read About the constituency East Delhi Lok Sabha Constituency is one of the seven parliamentary constituencies in the Indian National Capital Territory of Delhi. Constituted in 1966, it is one of the most densely populated constituencies with a population of around 25 lakh. It comprises the following areas: Gandhi Nagar, Shahdara, Krishna Nagar, Laxmi Nagar Vishwas Nagar, Patparganj, Janpura, Trilokpuri (SC), Kondli (SC) and Okhla.  As of…

Similar Story

Lok Sabha elections 2024: South Delhi — Know your constituency and candidates

Ramvir Singh Bidhuri of the BJP is contesting the South Delhi seat in place of sitting MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Who is he up against?

About the constituency Established in 1966, South Delhi Constituency is Delhi’s fourth largest constituency in terms of number of voters and is made up of Bijwasan, Palam, Mehrauli, Chhatarpur, Deoli (SC), Ambedkar Nagar (SC), Sangam Vihar, Kalkaji, Tughlakabad and Badarpur. The villages are largely dominated by the Gujjar community. It’s an upmarket area and is often referred to as the financial capital of the state. As of January 2024, the constituency had around 22.21 lakh voters, including roughly 12.34 lakh men and 9.86 lakh women, many of whom live in the urban villages or unauthorised colonies. This constituency had BJP’s…