Ghaziabad fire: Shaheed Nagar is a ticking tinder box
Friday morning’s fire in Sahibabad’s Shaheed Nagar locality is one of the warning signs of a bigger disaster waiting to happen, say activists. According to them, there are over 250 unauthorised workshops still running in the congested bylanes of the locality alone.noida Updated: Nov 12, 2016 01:39 IST
Friday morning’s fire in Sahibabad’s Shaheed Nagar locality is one of the warning signs of a bigger disaster waiting to happen, say activists. According to them, there are over 250 unauthorised workshops still running in the congested bylanes of the locality alone.
On Friday, Ajay Anand, Inspector General of Police, Meerut range said that the administration is answerable for the fire incident which killed 13.
“The administration department is partly responsible as they should have cracked down on such factories sooner. However, we will set up an inquiry and investigate the matter,” said Anand, who also inspected the building which was gutted in the early morning fire.
In 2010, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Allahabad High Court asking the court to pass orders to the Ghaziabad administration to crackdown on all unauthorised workshops and factories.
In 2015, the Allahabad High Court passed orders to the Ghaziabad administration to form a committee consisting of gazetted officers of 12 different departments. This committee was supposed to identify all unauthorised workshops running in the district.
“Between April 23, 2015 and July 24, 2016, the administration sealed almost 1,000 unauthorised units all over Ghaziabad,” said Rajeev Kumar Sharma, RTI activist.
“However, after factories in Shaheed Nagar that were sealed in August 2015, again became operational by November that year,” said Sharma.
Sharma then filed a contempt application in the court in February 2016 after which the district magistrate (DM) was ordered to answer. However, in July, the district magistrate changed after which the matter was put on the backburner.
Sharma alleged that if the administration had crackdowned on the factories earlier, Friday’s incident could have been avoided.
Ghaziabad district magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani said that a committee had been constituted to take action against such illegal units in residential areas.
“The committee will conduct a survey of areas where illegal units are being operated after which we will take required action,” Kesarwani said.
Kesarwani, also, added that Friday’s incident could have been avoided.