Surat fire tragedy: NGO writes to PM, seeks strict fire safety law

SURAT: An NGO working in the field of fire safety and prevention has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding that a strong law be enacted to prevent fire tragedies.

The United Human Rights Federation (UHRF) made the demand in the wake of a fire in Gujarat's Surat district on Friday that led to the death of 22 students attending coaching classes.

"In February, 17 people died in a fire in a Karol Bagh hotel and now it is Surat, where innocent students have been killed in a fire tragedy. How many more fire accidents will we see before we get a strong fire law?" UHRF president Santosh Bagla said.

"We recently wrote to PM Modi to bring a strong law to prevent fire tragedies. We had even demanded that the BJP include it in its election manifesto," he said.

Bagla said unfortunately, no political party has so far shown strong will to bring stringent laws despite the Supreme Court's directions in this connection.

"India's growth story cannot be complete without a central law in respect of fire prevention, life safety and fire protection which could cover all the states and Union territories," UHRF Secretary Arun Pal Singh said.

"Violating fire safety laws is one of the major causes of fire accidents in India... every building in the country needs to comply with the National Building Code, 2016... The Supreme Court has observed in various hearings and judgments about non-implementation of fire safety rules properly in the buildings which results in lots of fire accidents and loss of lives and property," the NGO wrote to the prime minister.

On Friday, a massive fire engulfed a four-storey commercial complex in Gujarat's Surat, killing at least 18 girls and four teenage boys at a coaching centre, officials said.

 

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PTI