Burning issue: 4,790 fires were reported across Mumbai in 2017 | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Burning issue: 4,790 fires were reported across Mumbai in 2017

More than 31 people died in the flames in the past 20 days alone.

mumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2018 10:48 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
A fire broke out on the third floor of the sessions court building in south Mumbai, near the University of Mumbai, on Monday, an official said. No injuries have been reported.
A fire broke out on the third floor of the sessions court building in south Mumbai, near the University of Mumbai, on Monday, an official said. No injuries have been reported.(HT Photo)

There were 4,790 fires reported over the past one year in the city, which wrecked cinema studios, dilapidated buildings, plush restaurants and illegal structures, according to official data.

More than 31 people died in the flames in the past 20 days alone.

In the last two major horrific incidents, the deaths occurred because victims failed to find fire exits or a way out.

Experts say these incidents and statistics are not an exception, but a norm for Mumbai. Improper implementation of fire safety rules, lack of deterrents against offenders, urban planning violations and poor awareness among citizens have made the city vulnerable to such fires.

“From the fire brigade’s end, we have identified lacunae in our system. The fire brigade’s strength is quick response and fire fighting, but it falls short in ensuring implementation of fire safety norms,’’ admitted a senior official from the fire brigade, on the condition of anonymity.

The civic administration plans to plug this gap by forming fire cells for each of the 34 stations in the city to audit and implement the rules.

But beyond the shortcomings of the civic administration, the buck stops with you.

Urban planners say the onus of ensuring fire safety lies not only with the city’s administration, but with builders, architects, interior designers and individual owners of property.