The fire at the consumer goods fair in Meerut, which claimed over 50 lives, was due to sheer negligence. Despite knowing that the fair would attract huge crowds, the authorities did not ensure that adequate safety measures were in place. This is not the first time such a tragedy has occurred in a place where many congregate. Unfortunately, neither the governments nor the public learn from the past.
The tragedy is not the first of its kind, and going by experience, it is not going to be the last. At another level, one wonders whether such fairs are necessary. With almost all consumer items being advertised on television and the Internet, fairs have become anachronisms.
It was heart-rending to see a trade fair turning into a graveyard for so many. The tragedy was the result of haphazard security measures by organisers and the callous attitude of the administration to such arrangements.
Barun Kumar Mahapatro,
We find air-conditioned tents made of plastic sheets put up in many consumer fairs. It would be interesting to know how many of these have safety approval. Conducting marriages in tents in the scorching heat also heightens the risk of fires.
Is it not ironical that everyone starts talking about safety norms after a tragedy, when adherence to them should be a matter of unquestioning routine? Even after tragedies, all politicians can think of is scoring points.