At the Old City, the situation is worsened by the density of population, close proximity of buildings, little space for traffic movement ( a fire engine wouldn't even be able to enter several parts) and the haphazard mesh of overhead electric wires.
Naturally, Bhopal Municipal Corporation's key firefighter Sajid Khan is worried sick. "Here people and government officials don't know how to use even a basic fire extinguisher.
Not many know what they need to do in case of different kinds of fires,” he told HT. There exists a crying need to include fire safety lessons in the school curriculum in a major way, Khan added.
BMC fire officer-in-charge GC Bhawsar complains that the state doesn’t have a fire Act due to which “we cannot take action against the violators, despite serving them repeated notices (nearly 500 over last one year)”. He added: “The National Building Code has just fire safety norms, but it doesn’t specify what penal action can be taken against violators. We will soon communicate this to the state government to frame a comprehensive legislation in this regard.”