Fire in slums does not happen it is planned
AT least 70 shanties were gutted in a fire that broke out at Natunbazar slum in the capital's Kalyanpur on Friday night. The fire which broke out at the slum at 9 pm on Friday was fully doused around 2:05 am. Ten firefighting units went to the spot and brought the fire under control after efforts of almost five hours. Fire at slums is a recurring event in the urban areas for mysterious reasons. Generally, winter season witnesses the increasing number of fire incidents in the country. Despite the looming threat, fire safety is still out of the policy-makers discussion table.
Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD) statistics showed that in the last 10 years, at least 16,000 fire incidents occurred that killed 1,590 people. In almost all incidents, the responsible departments and agencies formed probe committees that hardly functioned and made public. In the fire incidents, the immediate response of the government was making some promises, including equipping the Fire Service with state-of-the-art technologies, vehicles, fire extinguishers, and training. Neither the government nor the residents learned anything from the fire incidents and the promises made eventually went under the dust of time.
The slums are controlled by powerful people as a good business. When fire take place it is also part of their business plan.
The present government enjoys no popular legitimacy but it has no difficulty to remain in power because the state machinery keeps them in power. This is a helpless situation. The political people in power do not feel any obligation to govern. They know it is the other people in whose interest they are safe in power. It is so unfortunate that we have a government with no obligation or competence to serve and protect the people. Still they hang on to power.