The death of nine patients due to a fire in a Covid-care hospital located inside a shopping mall in Mumbai last Friday yet again spotlights the apathy of civic authorities as well as of the promoters of the private mall-cum-hospital. Apparently, the mall did not have the necessary clearances from the fire department. If that is so, the question arises as to why it was allowed to operate, and why a hospital was being run from its unlicensed premises.
Surely, the stable doors will now be locked by the designated security men after the horses have bolted, but this is a poor recompense for the families of those whose relatives have perished in the fire. If such flagrant violations of the minimum safety precautions can take place in the heart of Mumbai one shudders to think of the state of affairs deep in the interior of Maharashtra.
But when the ruling coalition is engaged full time in protecting itself from the fallout of the Rs 100-crore-letter-bomb released by the disgraced former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh it is wishful thinking to expect that it will be able to protect the good citizens of Maharashtra. At the very minimum, shouldn’t the fire department now undertake a thorough inspection of all hazardous buildings in Mumbai and penalize those functioning without the mandatory fire protections such as the water sprinkler systems and smoke extraction ducts, emergency exits, etc