mid day editorial: Prevention is better than fire-fighting

May 05, 2018, 07:19 IST | mid-day correspondent

Only months after the Kamala Mills blaze, on Thursday, the fire brigade received yet another distress call right across the street at the Todi Mill compound

Only months after the Kamala Mills blaze, on Thursday, the fire brigade received yet another distress call right across the street at the Todi Mill compound. Fortunately, there was no casualty or injury reported at the site, which has a mix of offices and eateries.

The fire was extinguished after four fire-fighting engines were pressed into service. Although this was a small fire that gutted a godown before it was doused, it quickly brought back memories of the Kamala Mills tragedy, which claimed 14 lives in December 2017. The Todi Mill area, with its slew of upscale establishments, is symbolic of the rise and transformation of the mill area. The authorities must treat the fire as a warning bell. What it shows is that a major part of the development has happened haphazardly, and every outlet at the compound must take precautions like fire extinguishers. This is important, as the access to the area is a higgledy-piggledy maze of lanes that will also make exit difficult in case of any large-scale disaster.

The Mathuradas Mill area, too, next to Todi has been called out by this paper before, for having very narrow lanes that can make fire-fighting difficult. In an earlier report in this paper, we had stated how such areas are a nightmare for firefighters.

We do not have the most sterling record when it comes to disaster management. As the city's history shows, we as a society tend to be reactive. We wait for an incident to occur, rather than concentrate on prevention.

This small fire should alert authorities and those who own establishments in the area to make it completely fire-compliant. Let us not wait for a wake-up call or a mishap to make this happen.

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