mid day editorial: Gaothan residents must ensure their own safety
the Pali Gaothan like all Gaothans in Mumbai is a maze of narrow lanes
Residents and fire officials have come together to map a customised fire safety plan for a quaint Bandra village. The Pali Gaothan, like all Gaothans in Mumbai is a maze of narrow lanes. Locals fear that they will be in dire straits if a fire starts in one of the structures inside the gaothans.
Their fears are sparked by reports about a number of fires in the city. With limited access to fire engines, and no working fire hydrant around, it's a recipe for disaster, they told this paper in a prominent report.
The density of wooden homes in Pali village leaves no room for large fire vehicles to negotiate the space. Gaothan homes are made of combustible material like teak wood and Mangalore tiles. If one building catches fire, the whole village will be burnt to a crisp in minutes.
Gaothans everywhere must be equipped with hydrants and most importantly, should be maintained and functional. Gaothan locals have to take upon themselves the onerous though absolutely necessary task of ensuring that their villages at least have a working fire fighting system.
It is commendable that the Pali Gaothan locals are awake to the situation and will now work with the BMC for a fire fighting plan for the area. What is important though is that gaothans first do the bare minimum and petition their local leaders to get fire hydrants installed.
It will be Herculean if not impossible to de-congest lanes which are now packed with homes and workshops. Tall buildings have also cropped up on the periphery, making access more difficult. Locals must take matters into their hands and at least equip their corners and homes maybe with small fire hydrants as a first, vital step towards fire fighting.
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