Full access at just Rs 3/day

Journalism of Courage
Advertisement
Premium

UPSC Essentials: Case study of the week- Mundka fire case: Fire disaster in urban areas.

Disaster in urban areas and their management can be an important theme in GS I, III, Ethics (GS IV), and Essay for UPSC-CSE.

The fire broke out in a four-storey building on May 13.

The recent Mundka fire incident in Delhi is yet another case of man-made disaster that the capital has witnessed. Knowing the issue, the problems and the solutions can be very relevant for UPSC-CSE aspirants.

Disaster in urban areas and their management can be an important theme in GS I, III, Ethics (GS IV), and Essay for UPSC-CSE.

The case: The recent Mundka fire incident in Delhi is yet another case of man-made disaster that the capital has witnessed. Fire incidents in Delhi speak volumes of how India’s urban centers have time and again failed to meet the very basic safety norms. Delhi has seen disastrous fire incidents before such as at Uphaar Cinema (1997), the Lal Kuan fire tragedy (1999), the Anand Mandi fire (2019), and Hotel fire in Karol Bagh (2019). The point is that these buildings and localities are sources of livelihood for a substantial section of the city’s population but they are unregulated.

The issues: Man-made or human-instigated disasters in which buildings in urban centers catch fire and lead to fatalities.

Subscriber Only Stories
Premium
Premium
Premium
Premium

The problems:

1) Lapse in following the norms in construction.

2) Congestion in the building.

3) Lack of fire exits as the building had only one staircase as an escape route.

4) Illegal constructions, unplanned infrastructure and poorly ventilated workplaces.

5) No fire clearance, lapsed manufacturing unit license and no NOCs from concerned authorities.

6) Missing the basic norms of occupational safety.

The measures to be taken:

1) Illegal constructions and unplanned infrastructure need to be checked by the competent authorities. It is the duty of authorities to ensure compliance.

Advertisement

2) Regular audit of buildings and enforced regulations in such urban centers. Building by-laws should not be infringed.

3) Accountabilities for employees should be fixed at all levels.

4) Political will to improve the working conditions.

5) Emergency disaster drills in such urban centers.

6) Political will to improve the working conditions.

Between the lines of the case: The nature of informal industrial units in urban areas.

There are extremely poor working conditions in the informal urban areas. Even the provision of drinking water and toilet facilities is often denied to workers. The quality of jobs is very poor in informal establishments, especially for women. Many women workers are often the primary breadwinners of their households. Such jobs also consist of long working hours, and the absence of any leave, including maternity leave. Most of the workers are very young and are forced to join the labor market in low-paid jobs. A dignified life can’t be imagined. It is also often reported that there is poor enforcement of the labor laws by the enforcement machinery as the corruption has entered into administration. The incident underscores the invisibilities and insecurities of informal workers in the city. This shows the lack of identity of informal sector workers. Neetha N. writes that the Mundka fire incident underscores the invisibilities and insecurities of informal workers in the city. This in turn shows the lack of identity of informal sector workers.

Points to ponder

Advertisement

1) Try to view the disaster management of fire in a building from the perspective of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

2) What is The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSHWC)?  

 

First published on: 20-05-2022 at 04:27:21 pm
Next Story

Recap: How 2019 Hyderabad gangrape accused were ‘deliberately’ shot dead by police

Home
ePaper
Next Story
close
X