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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Many tragedies, no lessons learnt

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, February 28, 2013
First Published: 00:38 IST(28/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:39 IST(28/2/2013)

As the 20 charred bodies piled up one by one at the Calcutta Medical College, less than a kilometre from the cramped Surya Sen Market where a big fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday, it's time for another panel.

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Another fire, another row of dead bodies and another committee - as the city of joy, its hospitals, buildings, markets and workplaces remain a tinderbox.

Hours after Wedne-sday's fire, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced that police, municipal corporation and fire department would probe the incident.

"I want a report in three days," she said.

Panels after every major fire are not new to Kolkata. Soon after the fire at Stephen Court on Park Street killed 43 men, women and children in March 2010, the Left Front government set up an inquiry committee under a former chief secretary. The recommendations are gathering dust.

After the fire at AMRI Hospital in December 2011, the Trinamool government set up a probe committee. Then it formed a 5-member 'fire safety committee' headed the ADG, fire services.

But that wasn't enough. Another panel, led by chief secretary Samar Ghosh, was set up three days after the tragedy. After this, another panel was set up to frame rules relating to fire safety.

All these panels inspected over 40 hospital and business establishments and submitted their reports. But till now, none of their proposals have been implemented.


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