‘There is some awareness on fire safety, but still a long way to go’


Interview with Uday Vijayan, managing trustee and president of Beyond Carlton

Beyond Carlton, a charitable trust formed after the Carlton Towers fire tragedy in February 2010 that claimed nine lives, aims to make India fire-safe. Nearly a decade later, Uday Vijayan, managing trustee and president of the trust, says there's still a long way to go in terms of fire safety and awareness. Edited excerpts:

Do you think there is enough awareness about fire safety?

According to 2016 National Crime Records Bureau data, we lose 45 people in fires every day. That said, I would say that fire safety awareness has improved, though there is still a long way to go. We are running a marathon and not a 100 metres dash.

Beyond Carlton prepared a five-year blueprint in an effort to make Bengaluru 100% fire safe. What is the status?

The blueprint was prepared in consultation with the Karnataka Fire & Emergency Services, and Janaagraha in 2018. Some action has happened after a lot of push and effort. The officials of the Karnataka Fire & Emergency Services have been cooperative. Our role as a catalyst will continue until it is implemented.

What more needs to be done to raise awareness about fire safety and precautions to be taken?

People are becoming aware about fire safety norms and rules. Many are reaching out to Beyond Carlton seeking help. However, a lot more needs to be done at various levels with the many stakeholders. But, we believe it begins with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which gives building sanctions. With awareness drives being taken up in schools, we believe at least the next generation will be better prepared and equipped to take things forward.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:14:06 AM |

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