Srinagar, Apr 13: National Conference’s Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday expressed concern over recurring incidents of fire in Kashmir.
Saying that the government is insensitive to the safety of people, Kamal said the slack attitude of the government with regards to non-implementation of Fire Force Act (FFA) (1967) in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in around hundreds of deadly fire incidents in just a few months. “Authorities are still reluctant to take measures that could avert such incidents in future. There has been no development over the implementation of the Fire Force Act of the year 1967 in which it was made mandatory for all the buildings to install fire safety equipment to prevent the fire incidents,” he said.
“For around a million plus population of Srinagar district, there are just few big-size fire-fighting vehicles available which cannot reach most of the areas. The administration so far paid little to no attention towards giving a flip to the number of fire stations, fire posts and capacity building of our fire services men. The dense population of the old city of Srinagar makes the task of fire tenders more difficult. The idea of improvising the fire services has been out on a back burner. The existing infrastructure on ground with regards to fire services had all come up during the successive governments. The successive government’s post 2015 have failed to keep up with the good work of the Omar Abdullah led government,” he added.
Calling for undertaking a comprehensive Fire safety audit of all the major shrines and other religious and historical places in Kashmir, Kamal said that the administration should wake up to the occasion and plug the gaps by upgrading the existing fire services infrastructure of Jammu and Kashmir.
He also demanded an increase in the compensation and relief to victim families, saying that the current recompense being doled out is too less to make up for the losses incurred by victim families.
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