Chandigarh | Oil the rusty roller coaster wheels

Published on Sep 17, 2022 04:58 AM IST

Most readers believe that authorities concerned often throw caution to the wind when handing out permissions to operators to set up rides at make-shift fairs — endangering public safety. Almost all also agree that ensuring test runs, period quality checks of equipment and safety audits can go a long way in curbing future accidents

Chandigarh tricity area readers share their views on how to curb mishaps at make-shift fairs in the wake of the joyride crash at a recent fair in Mohali. (Biswajit Debnath/HT)
Chandigarh tricity area readers share their views on how to curb mishaps at make-shift fairs in the wake of the joyride crash at a recent fair in Mohali. (Biswajit Debnath/HT)

Monitor equipment, ensure test runs & seek feedback

The recent tragedy at a Mohali fair that left many, including children, injured, is clearly indicative of the need to reassess the process of handing out non-objection certificates to contractors setting up carnival rides at make-shift fairs. Given that the equipment being used at these fairs is often moved from place to place and is more prone to wear and tear, it becomes althemore important for the authorities to pay extra caution before providing permission — which should only be granted strictly after departments concerned carry out the checks. Importantly, before launching any new rides, like the drop tower for instance, there must be a proper test run carried out under professional supervision. Daily checks by a designated supervisor and seeking customer feedback regarding any unusual sounds, damage or breakages can also go a long way in ensuring smooth running. Heavy penalties on mismanagement of any will also help instil a sense of responsibility in the mind of the operators.

Khushi Bhatnagar, Panchkula

Provide customers with insurance cover

It is strange that people are challenged for not observing traffic rules like not putting on seat-belts, but there is no check on the risky rides and dangerous fly wheels and drop spinning wheels at carnivals across the city. Ensuring safety precautions like keeping an ambulance ready, enduring a foolproof functioning of the amusement rides is the bare minimum that authorities need to take responsibility for. The operating company of the rides, meanwhile, must give insurance cover to its customers as the same would force them to take up responsibility to make sure than no untoward incident takes place.

Capt Amar Jeet, Kharar

Contractors, authorities should work in tandem

Safety is a form of partnership assumed between an amusement park and its visitors. Unfortunately, a majority of the injuries occur because the guests do not follow the requisite safety guidelines for the carnival rides. But in the recent incident, the fault could be laid solely on the organisers for letting a faulty ride operate as well as the authorities for failing to take notice of the same before giving clearance. It is the duty of the organisers and authorities to ensure the technical efficiency of the equipment being put up at carnivals beforehand. A technical audit must be made compulsory for the all rides being set up at such events and contractors should give their full cooperation getting all the necessary checks completed in time.

Vineet Gandhi, Chandigarh

Designated safety marshal can go a long way

Public safety has seemingly taken a back seat when it comes to events like carnivals and fairs. It is rather alarming that such events, which attract huge crowds, are being organised without following proper procedure. Apart from enforcing rules, ensuring timely and prompt efficient inspections before the start of such fairs and events, there is also a need to make continued efforts to ensure the rides are running smoothly without and not facing any technical issues. Designating a safety officer or a nodal safety officer to fix responsibility can go a long way to ensure public safety.

DS Banati, Mohali

Constant supervision can reduce mishaps

One has to think twice about their own safety on your trips to amusement parks given the poor supervision from the authorities’ end. Injuries are common even in rides that function properly. Guardians accompanying children on rides must ensure that the children are prepared for the rides and are undertaking appropriate safety measures like fastening their seat belts and not acting irresponsibly. Constant supervision by staff and parents is critical to prevent mishaps.

Geeta Hira, Manimajra

Punish officials not conducting due diligence

The age-old practice of granting permissions to organisers of fairs on the basis of the influence of political leaders needs to be ended. In many cases, those in charge fail to keep visitors safe and there are no experts present at these fairs to prevent mishaps. Officials found guilty of granting permissions without conducting due diligence must be punished.

Kundan Lal Sharma, Mohali

Formulate official safety guidelines

Government officials’ callous attitude, operators’ indifference towards ensuring the safety of the customers and an apparent absence of stringent technical audit of rides all lead to lives being endangered at city carnivals and fairs. Lack of accountability of the government departments in case of mishaps need to end and a mechanism needs to be put in place to ensure that proper procedure is followed while granting no objection certificates to the operators. There should be a robust system of regulation to ensure amusement parks are safe and rides are regularly inspected, the starting point of which should be a rule making it mandatory for the operators to carry out stringent safety audits. A specific law governing the setting up of rides at fairs across the country could also greatly help in curbing mishaps.

Kidar Nath Sharma, Chandigarh

Learn from the past

Despite such incidents of mishaps at fairs and amusement parks having occurred many times in the past, authorities are yet to implement a standard protocol to grant permissions to the organisers. The reality is that organisers of such events are always hand-in-glove with officials in exchange for monetary favours. Those found guilty of such corruption must be dealt with strictly.

Suresh Sharma, Chandigarh

Advanced technology, safety norms

Mishaps at amusement parks have been increasing, which indicates the need for advanced technical structure and evolved administrative norms. Advanced machinery and safety equipment are the need of the hour in order to prevent such accidents.

Shubham Samria, Chandigarh

SOPs being flouted with impunity

The appalling Mohali joyride mishap highlights the callous attitude of the administration towards safety of citizens, as such fairs are being allowed to operate despite standard operating procedures (SOPs) being flouted with impunity. Emergency medical services and safety measures have to be in place at such fairs and this must be ensured by officials.

Surbhi Negi , via email

Trained operators, period reports the way to go

The organisers of the carnival rides should prepare a list of all safety-related points ahead of the installation of carnival rides, taking into account past incidents and present assessment. The equipment and machinery should be checked on a regular basis by the operators, who should take note of any irregularities as soon as they are first noticed. The same should be flagged and checked by the senior authorities. A daily report should also be submitted to a nominated official at the district commissioner’s office. The same process should be followed even while a fair is underway. Likewise, a suitably trained operator should check the dress and upkeep of the rider before allowing him/her on the joy ride.

Tejinder Singh Kalra, Mohali

High-ups need to be held responsible

This mishap is clearly a result of the negligence of senior authorities. Normally, whenever such accidents take place, enquiries are carried out, contractors are booked and then everyone forgets about it. But, the accountability and responsibility of senior officials also has to be fixed and action must be taken against those found neglecting their duty.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Carry out dry runs to ensure proper functioning

The recent joyride crash at the Mohali fair should come as a wake-up call for authorities that laxity on the part of officials has led to endangering the safety of the public at large. Structural safety of all joyride equipment needs to be obtained before launching any play equipment by qualified structural engineers. Further safety audits be carried out before giving permission by the authorities concerned. First aid with ambulance, fire tenders from National Disaster Response Force must be made available at site in case of any mishap. Safety belts for joy riders must be made compulsory. Lastly, it is imperative that dry runs are carried out to ensure safety of the public at large before granting permission by authorities.

Colonel TBS Bedi, Mohali

Check roller costers everyday

To prevent such accidents, roller coasters must be tested everyday by engineers and mechanics to ensure that nothing is out of order. In addition to this, daily inspections should be carried out on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis.

Ishita Nara, via email

Learn from past mistakes

The Sunday nightmare that left more than 10 people, half of whom were children, grievously injured at a fair in Mohali, was a grim reminder of just how dangerous joyrides that have not undergone strict safety audits can be. This is not a first-of-its-kind mishap. In the past too, such tragic incidents have occured in certain other parts of the country and it was high time that we learn from our past mistakes. To avoid such mishaps, the dispensation needs to make physical audit mandatory for those operating the tides. The authorities should also tighten the noose around those jumping the fence and not following proper safety requirements.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

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