Slackness in the functioning of the Ludhiana fire wing has been putting the precious lives of citizens on high risk.
The fact emerged following the reply to an RTI query filed by the Council of RTI Activist, Ludhiana, - which underlines that the fire wing of the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) failed miserably to check fire safety measures at places of public gatherings like exhibitions, circus, festival stalls, commercial premises with high footfalls throughout a day from January 1, 2012 to August 2013.
The fire wing is responsible for checking places of public visit to ensure that appropriate fire safety measures have been taken for the safety of the visitors. After ensuring all the fire safety measures, the office of additional divisional fire officer is suppose to issues a 'no objection certificate' to the exhibitors/organisers or as the case may be. While in case of breach of the fire safety norms, the additional divisional fire officer can fine theorganisers/ exhibitors or put a halt on their exhibition.
But the fact remains that no certificates have been issued by the office of additional divisional fire officer in such cases from January 1, 2012, and exhibitors/organisers/owners are still going on unabated putting citizens' life on high risk.
What is even more surprising; the RTI reply says the fire wing officials have also not paid the mandatory surprise visits to schools and colleges in the city for checking fire safety measures. This means that the fire wing is not even aware about equipment installed by the schools and colleges to deal with an emergency situation.
Same is the case with hotels and restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes, which are functioning without a proper check by the fire wing officials.
The query was filed by president Rohit Sabharwal and secretary Arvind Sharma on behalf of Council president Rohit Sabharwal and secretary Arvind Sharma on behalf of the Council of RTI Activist, wherein they had sought a detailed information about institutions and public places having the fire safety certificate.
They have also sought information about the raids conducted by the fire wing officials at gas agencies and petrol pumps for checking the fire safety measures. However, the reply states that these premises have not been raided.