29 fire deaths in Bengaluru in 5 years

Beyond Carlton members Gopal Devanahalli, Ashok G.V., Vasanthi Hariprakash, Uday Vijayan, R.A. Venkitachalam and Sumit Khanna release the blueprint on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: By Special Arrangement

As Bengaluru got its own fire safety blueprint on Wednesday, members of Beyond Carlton — the citizen’s initiative for fire safety — shared what they called ‘worrying and grim’ figures for Karnataka.

The blueprint revealed that Bengaluru had seen 29 deaths, 251 injuries and property loss amounting to ₹269 crore between 2011 and 2016, according to statistics of the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services Department.

Taking reference from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics for 2015, Uday Vijayan, Managing Trustee and President of Beyond Carlton, said five States — Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh — accounted for over 60% of deaths due to fire.

In Karnataka, 1,244 people had died in fires in 2015, 781 of them women. That appeared to be correlated to the other statistic: fires due to cooking gas exploding were reported to be the major reason for deaths (338), followed by electric short circuit (118).

Nationally too, NCRB data for 2015 showed that 17,500 Indians died in fire accidents in a single year. As many as 7,445 Indians died in their residences.

Fire, a rising concern

Mr. Vijayan pointed out that fire is now among major risks in the country. “According to the FICCI-Pinkerton India Risk Survey 2017 that analyses the most significant threats to business perception and risks for the country, fire ranks as the fifth greatest risk among 12 risks,” he said.

Members of Beyond Carlton said there had been changes since the horrific Carlton Towers tragedy on February 23, 2010, especially after a PIL filed by Beyond Carlton in the Karnataka High Court resulted in a government notification laid down stringent preventive measures in high-rise buildings in the State. But they admitted that more needs to be done.

Mr. Vijayan says that buildings less than 15 metres tall are out of the ambit. Coordination between stakeholders, a key recommendation in the blueprint, would be a challenging task.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 11:43:21 PM |

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