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Who's to be blamed for 5 deaths in Bhajanpura? (IANS Special)

Saturday - January 25, 2020 11:47 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Five lives, including 4 students, were lost in the Bhajanpura area in north-east Delhi on Saturday evening as an under-construction structure came crashing on a building that housed a coaching centre.
Who is to be blamed for the incident? According to an 2019 Delhi Fire Service (DFS) survey, there are around 3,000-4,000 coaching centres in the national capital that lacked the necessary fire-prevention and fire-fighting infrastructure.
The report particulalrly pointed to 22 coaching centres that were functioning, flouting all the norms and laws.
Also, the DFS that comes under the Delhi government lacks necessary manpower to deal with the crisis. The DFS doesn't have the authority to take any administrative or legal action against coaching centres that flouted the rules.
At the most, the DFS can send the file to the Delhi government department for legal and statutory proceedings.
Saturday's tragic incident is another case of the slow pace at which the government machineries function.
"Apart from coaching centres, there are thousands of paying guest (PG) accommodations in areas, like Gandhi Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, South Extension, Janakpuri-Vikaspuri, Shakarpur and Pandav Nagar, that are flouting all rules and regulations. In some PGs, up to 8 students are accommodated in one room. In case of an untoward incident, they won't be able to escape as these areas are densely populated," a DFS official told IANS.
These businesses were being run in collusion with the police, municipal corporation, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and other such agencies that had the power to initiate or undertake legal action, the official said.
The unfortunate incident of Bhajanpur and eventual loss of innocent lives could have been prevented with timely action by the authorities concerned.
(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at sajeev.c@ians.in)

--IANS sks-pgh/pcj