Ludhiana: Clogged lanes perfect recipe for disaster
These incidents have brought into focus the rampant violations of fire safety norms in factories and godowns, and the poor condition of fire wing.punjab Updated: May 02, 2017 15:07 IST
The city has witnessed four fire incidents in six days. The first fire claimed three lives, including that of an eight-year-old girl, the rest have caused losses worth lakhs. In the latest incident, a textile mill on Rahon Road caught fire on Monday.
These incidents have brought into focus the rampant violations of fire safety norms in factories and godowns, and the poor condition of fire wing. Call it negligence on the municipal corporation’s behalf, thousands of factories, hospitals, educational institutes in the city lack basic fire safety arrangements and continue to function with impunity.
Many factories and mills run from narrow streets in the old city area. As HT did a reality check, it found that dangling power cables and congested lanes in the old city area were a perfect recipe for disaster.
With no space for fire tenders to enter these streets, a blaze can cause havoc in a matter of seconds. Many factories, most of them unauthorised, are operated from homes. The boilers used in many factories are not even registered with the industries department. Dal Bazaar, Chaura Bazaar, Madhopuri, are so congested that it is difficult to manoeuvre even two-wheelers.
WHAT MAKES THE OLD CITY AREA DANGEROUS
Lack of exits in case of emergency: Severely congested lanes and by-lanes can hamper any rescue operation in case of a fire or a natural calamity like an earthquake.
Cause of pollution: Punjab Pollution Control Board has severely failed to control the pollution caused by these factories.
Dangling power cables: Punjab State Power Corporation Limited and the MC have failed to tackle the problem of dangling wires that can cause a major tragedy in case of a short circuit. Minor incidents are common here.
No action against illegal construction: Many industrial units are constructed in violation of building by-laws of the MC.