Festivals are hazards in many ways because bigger crowds with lesser management is a recipe for accidents. Fires, stampedes, collapse of stages and similar mishaps are real and present risks.
In the Durga pooja at Bhadohi 150 people were said to be present at the pandal when a fire accident occurred. According to those present, inflammable items used for decoration, such as halogen lights covered with coloured papers, caused the fire to spread fast.
As per news: With one more person succumbing to burn injuries, the death toll in the fire accident at a Durga puja pandal at Bhadohi’s Narthua village rose to six on Tuesday, 4th October even as 69 persons were still undergoing at hospitals in Bhadohi, Prayagraj and Varanasi.
With Diwali arriving, Delhi authorities are not prepared to take chances this time. Holding a review meeting on fire safety preparedness in Delhi ahead of Diwali, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has directed the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) to rationalise and simplify the procedure for obtaining fire NOC without compromising the safety parameters.
Saxena also instructed to increase the number of fire stations in Delhi from 64 to at least 80 and fire tenders/water bousers to at least 350 from 220. Besides, he gave instructions to bring down the response time for fire rescue calls to 2-3 minutes, which at present varies from less than eight minutes to more than 16 minutes, said officials.
But it would be highly naïve of anyone to believe that the burden of safety preparedness, alertness and quick response mechanisms were all heaped on the authorities. It’s everyone’s duty to be ready and prepared and that is the only real safety tool to build and nurture. And you and I are a part of it, or at least should be, if we are to not wake up to horror stories when the festivities are over.