With no safety norms, Sec 26 grain market a disaster waiting to happen

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2014 10:11 IST

Even though a major disaster was witnessed at the Sector 26 grain market resulting in the death of two after a building collapse in 2007, the administration continues to keep a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to fire safety norms.

No safety precautions are being taken by the most visited grain market of the city, which has a massive stocking of grains, fruits, vegetables and other edible items, besides packing material.

Entering the market is a herculean task with trucks and carts parked here and there. Parking is a major problem with half the road being blocked by cartons and packing material leaving little space to move. In case of a fire, it would be a task in itself to reach the spot.

A round of the market is all it takes to see highly combustible substances such as oil, ghee, chemicals and packaging material which can catch fire easily lying in every nook and corner.

A visit to the shops situated on the first and second floor reveals how the material has been thrown in an unorganised way making it difficult to climb the stairs.

Generators are also blocking corridors, which itself are a threat in case of a fire.

Loose wires are a common sight posing danger to people’s lives. To add to this, fire extinguishers are also missing at most shops.

The entry and exit points are the same in all buildings and changes have been made by owners according to their own convenience, blindly ignoring safety measures.

However, Bhim Sain Garg, President of Grain Market Association , said, “There are no glaring violations as such and we keep holding internal meeting to sensitise traders.”

“We are holding yet another meeting and anyone found with violations will be asked to remove them at the earliest. We are cautious and are working on making the market safe against fire and other mishaps,” he added.

Station fire officer ML Sharma said, “The traders at the grain market should get together and carry out fire safety measures in the building to ensure their own safety.”

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