The Gujarat High Court took note of a report published in Ahmedabad Mirror about lack of fire safety arrangements in high-rise buildings in the city and asked the government to start immediate action against such structures for violations. The HC Bench said, “Prevention is better than cure”. But isn’t that what Prolite has been screaming from rooftops for 30 plus years? And goddam it isn’t it OBVIOUS?
The report had highlighted the fact about such buildings following a fire incident at Ganesh Meridian building opposite Gujarat HC on SG Highway. Highlighting the occurrence, the Bench consisting of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice A J Shastri said, “We are of the view that it is high time that authorities take immediate steps at least in respect of high-rise buildings which lack noncompliance of either fire certification or BUP, inasmuch as any tears shed by the State and its authorities subsequent to untoward incident occurring would be of no avail, as the precious life lost cannot be brought back.”
The good news however, is that starting January 2022, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) will begin an awareness drive in a phased manner to arm senior citizens and homemakers with basic firefighting skills. The training will be free of cost and will be held during weekends in the command centres at Byculla, Wadala, Vikhroli, Mankhurd and Borivali. Explaining why MFB has decided to rope in senior citizens in the drive, Hemant Parab, chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade informed, “Several senior citizens hold a key position in the management bodies of the housing societies across Mumbai. Sensitising them with fire prevention acts will enable them to carry out regular maintenance in their premises and also, they will be able to identify and alert us about discrepancy or malfunction in fire equipment of their buildings.”