It is an undeniable fact of life that any project you wish to undertake first begs the question “What will it cost?” You want to start a business, set up a school, help the underprivileged or even go out to get a cup of tea that is the bridge you need to cross first. The second consideration that would follow naturally, is whether that cost can be justified or not. The justification can be in cash or in kind.


The business of disaster management is a hugely tricky one when seen in the light of the logic of cost justification alone. If you construct a building with several flats or offices, you will naturally look to the sale of the units as justification of the cost. The tendency would be to provide the bare minimum to the customer and recover maximum money from him. Here, the tendency would be to avoid adding tiresome costs of fire safety systems and abiding by even the very basic exigency norms as mandated by the NBC. In more earthy language, it can be called the “Chalta Hai” mindset. As a builder/developer or an architect or planner, you should be aware of how important it is to provide for and install safety paraphernalia. Not only that, the follow up to that would necessarily include conduction of regular fire drills, maintenance and upkeep of equipment so that they are in working order 24x7, followed by procurement of the necessary licences and clearances that render the job formally complete.

We have witnessed several major fire outbreaks post Diwali and seen the deadly damage they inflicted upon us. What we seem to have missed, is that in all the cases the exigency rules and protocols were either absent or hugely compromised.” Some high-profile arrests have been made and the police is trying to do its best in order to motivate and encourage people to come across and register their grievances.


The worst blunder to make therefore, is to compromise life safety by cutting corners on vital equipment and training to save money. And some have already learnt that lesson the hard way.


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