HYDERABAD: Shocking and totally callous of the State Home Minister, Mohammed Mahmood Ali and his cabinet colleague Animal Husbandry Minister, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, to call a major fire that broke out last year at the Numaish as a “ minor accident”.
If reducing 200 stalls and property worth crores into ashes is ‘Minor’, God save us from such insensitive ministers, remarked several people, who were shell shocked reading the report in today’s Hindu”.
The daily reported, that the insensitive statement was made by the ministers Inaugurating the 80th edition of the All India Industrial Exhibition, aKa Numaish, on Tuesday evening.
It was during the closing days 2019 exhibition that a major fire broke out on the fairgrounds reducing 200 stall and property worth crores into ashes. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but several people were injured and treated for asphyxiation. And many hundred exhibitors had to face severe financial difficulties and mental trauma, according to reports.
Following the disastrous fire and the stampede, a PIL was filed by a concerned city lawyer with the Telangana High Court challenging the casual manner in which the authorities allowed the event, without enforcing proper safety measures major being fire safety.
The Court took a strong exception to the reports submitted by the various government and related departments about the safety measure taken for the 2020 exhibition and refused to rely on affidavits and NOCs issued by the concerned department and insisted on closer examination of the grounds. The Court, according to reports showed a greater sense of responsibility towards the citizens by saying that it was more concerned about the lives of the people than granting permission for the event.
One of the major safety issues at the exhibition grounds has been the overselling of space to exhibitors causing severe shrinkage of space and passage to people and vehicles in times of emergency. The lawyer who had filed the PIL has in subsequent representation brought to the notice of the court that while the exhibition society web site claims 2900 stalls, the court has been assured that only 1500 stalls are operating.
It is for the Court now to set up a special committee to go for a reality check. And find out the ground realities. The Exhibition Society no doubt is involved in a lot of good work running several educational institutes, but the means are equally important. Best advised the Society should adhere to the manual of the National Building Code of 2016., which had laid down several guidelines for fire and life safety.