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Preparedness to prevent fire tragedies urged

By Correspondent

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, June 3 - The devastation caused by the inferno in North Lakhimpur recently has left people wondering as to why the concerned departments and the traders bodies do not learn a lesson despite the recurrence of same type of fire incidents. Though a bandh was observed by business community in North Lakhimpur in protest against the mishandling of the fire situation by the administration, both the sides appear to be complicit for the tragedy, say the worried public.

A four-storied shopping outlet was completely gutted due to the mismanagement by the district fire service and alleged involvement of some individuals while tending the fire. It has been alleged that a person drove a fire tender to douse the fire on buildings belonging to him leaving other establishments facing a fast spreading fire. This interference by an individual to use a fire tender and its tacit support by the police and other concerned departments and subsequent drying out of the water tank of the fire tender and a delay in refilling, meanwhile, allowed the fire to spread up to the four-storied building burning everything inside. Though the business community met Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Debeswar Malakar demanding improved fire safety measures like tenders with hydraulic ladders and trained personnel, their own preparedness is also questioned following the incident.

Observing the recurrent fire incidents on the same commercial area of North Lakhimpur, the business community too has to make preparedness for such incidents. They can install fire extinguisher sets at important points of the installations and construct water tanks for fire safety, since the trader�s body in North Lakhimpur has many development committees looking after their concerns at various parts of the town. These committees can make fire-preparedness locally to minimise losses in such emergencies.

The Municipality Board, North Lakhimpur too is responsible for this tragedy as they used to permit construction of buildings without considering the fire safety measures and other basic criteria. The four-storied commercial complex destroyed in the inferno did not have fire safety measures for which it took a longer time to douse the fire. Meanwhile, the Minister for Handloom and Textiles Ranjit Dutta visited the site and inquired about the loss and damage.

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