Shankersinh Vaghela Writes To Gujarat Governor On Fire Safety

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Shankersinh Vaghela Writes To Gujarat Governor On Fire Safety

| Updated: May 29, 2024 10:33

Vaghela calls for a separate commissionerate of fire safety and disaster management

Former Gujarat chief minister, Shankersinh Vaghela, wrote to Governor Devvrat Acharya on Tuesday appealing for the establishment of a separate commissionerate of fire safety and disaster management. 

He also called for a transparent and effective single-window online licensing authority system in the wake of the Rajkot gaming zone fire tragedy.

He said he hoped the Governor would lead the state government to prevent such incidents in Gujarat in the future. Vaghela also suggested creating standard safety norms for public places.

An effective and transparent system should be created for hospitals, colleges, schools, theatres, malls, gaming zones, water parks, construction sites, and commercial complexes with large footfalls. There should be strict legal action against corruption and dereliction of duty by government officers, the letter stated.

Criticises govt actions

Vaghela highlighted the other accidents in the state, including the 2019 Surat fire that killed 22 children. He pointed to the state government’s ‘stereotypical assurances’, including compensation for victims’ families, forming indecisive special investigation teams (SITs), and transferring or suspending officials.

Instead of taking temporary solutions, a commissionerate should be set up with fire safety and disaster management coordination. As licensing authority and clearances are with different local bodies, this should be replaced with a single-window online system under the supervision of vigilance officers, Vaghela stated in his letter.

Further suggestions included exemplary punishment for officers concerned, employees, and private or government contractors so that these incidents are not repeated. A portal should be created where people can check if government rules are followed and necessary permissions have been given, he added.

Vaghela also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction to the incident. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political career started from Rajkot as an elected MLA. Busy in the ongoing elections, he might have forgotten that he is a Gujarati. Governments will come and go, but how will you bring back lives?” he asked. 

Instead of rubbing salt in the wounds of victims’ families by putting out a tweet, he should have said a few words of condolence in public rallies, said Vaghela. Then we would have thought he is our own PM, the former chief minister said in the letter.

Also Read: Nine Fire Officers Accused Of Showing Fake Certificates

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