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When the trivial becomes the crucial

2018 brought with it new hopes and new resolutions. But it also brought a series of serious fire accidents and the spate of tragedies carried on into the third week of January. It is not as if fire accidents are not routine in India, they have been. However, the recent spike is definitely unprecedented and has forced even the authorities to crack down heavily on establishments that do not have proper fire safety protection as the law demands.

 

 It has been the practice to cut corners in fire safety protocols to save money or time at the very early stages of any construction or business establishment. This is based on two very common perceptions that are both erroneous and dangerous. One, that it is ‘Chalta hai’ to ignore this and that because no one bothers anyway. And the second, that accidents happen to others it won’t happen here. Well, maybe two ‘Yug’s ‘ Yug Tuli and Yug Pathak will definitely testify today that it was their fatal mistake to go by both these perceptions. As also, will the architects and developers of the Kamala Mills compound and so many others where the authorities are going hammer and tongs (literally) destroying illegal constructions, extensions and establishments that are in breach of fire safety norms.

It has now been established that developers and builders who bribe their way to get licences and clearances may not have it so easy in future. The public outcry against the horrible deaths at the Kamala mills rooftop fire have reached a crescendo and no government or civic authority dare to carry on with business as usual any longer. Also, the spate of accidents that have followed only added to the outrage and anger against the authorities and old sins are being dug out and people who have been sitting pretty so far satiated on bribe money are having sleepless nights.

The common man is now much wiser on the basics of fire protection and safety, especially since the 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro affair has been in the news almost daily all January. People realize that at the budding stages of any construction of eateries, malls or any business premises for that matter, it is vital to ensure that emergency exits, lights and proper exigency signages are in place. Even after the business begins to run it is vital to ensure maintenance of basic equipment from time to time and to train the staff on basic first aid and exigency protocols to follow in case of an accident.

The silver lining to horrible fire tragedies must be that the bribe exchange shop is definitely in shutdown mode. The cozy arrangement is for the first time, under serious existential threat. Authorities were always wise but now the people are, and this is the difference. The anger that follows every fire tragedy is adding up and people will not have their patience tried anymore.

The trivial has now become the crucial and those who still choose to cut corners may be digging a deep hole for themselves.

2018 brought with it new hopes and new resolutions. But it also brought a series of serious fire accidents and the spate of tragedies carried on into the third week of January. It is not as if fire accidents are not routine in India, they have been. However, the recent spike is definitely unprecedented and has forced even the authorities to crack down heavily on establishments that do not have proper fire safety protection as the law demands.

 

 It has been the practice to cut corners in fire safety protocols to save money or time at the very early stages of any construction or business establishment. This is based on two very common perceptions that are both erroneous and dangerous. One, that it is ‘Chalta hai’ to ignore this and that because no one bothers anyway. And the second, that accidents happen to others it won’t happen here. Well, maybe two ‘Yug’s ‘ Yug Tuli and Yug Pathak will definitely testify today that it was their fatal mistake to go by both these perceptions. As also, will the architects and developers of the Kamala Mills compound and so many others where the authorities are going hammer and tongs (literally) destroying illegal constructions, extensions and establishments that are in breach of fire safety norms.

It has now been established that developers and builders who bribe their way to get licences and clearances may not have it so easy in future. The public outcry against the horrible deaths at the Kamala mills rooftop fire have reached a crescendo and no government or civic authority dare to carry on with business as usual any longer. Also, the spate of accidents that have followed only added to the outrage and anger against the authorities and old sins are being dug out and people who have been sitting pretty so far satiated on bribe money are having sleepless nights.

The common man is now much wiser on the basics of fire protection and safety, especially since the 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro affair has been in the news almost daily all January. People realize that at the budding stages of any construction of eateries, malls or any business premises for that matter, it is vital to ensure that emergency exits, lights and proper exigency signages are in place. Even after the business begins to run it is vital to ensure maintenance of basic equipment from time to time and to train the staff on basic first aid and exigency protocols to follow in case of an accident.

The silver lining to horrible fire tragedies must be that the bribe exchange shop is definitely in shutdown mode. The cozy arrangement is for the first time, under serious existential threat. Authorities were always wise but now the people are, and this is the difference. The anger that follows every fire tragedy is adding up and people will not have their patience tried anymore.

The trivial has now become the crucial and those who still choose to cut corners may be digging a deep hole for themselves.