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UP Fire Services blame district authorities for Meerut inferno

Written by: Staff

Lucknow, Apr 11 (UNI) In the wake of the fierce fire that engulfed 60 lives in Meerut last evening, the Uttar Pradesh Fire Services Department has blamed the Meerut district administration for ignoring the guidelines issued in December 2005 about fire safety in public places.

The guidelines contained mention of safety measures in such events where pandals (enclosures) are erected, but the district administration ignored all precautions at the Brand India Consumer Fair in Meerut resulting in a massive fire, killing at least 60 people last evening.

Inspector General (IG) of UP Fire Services Daya Sagar Singh and a Joint Director from technical side have already been rushed to Meerut to probe the inferno from their angle, an official spokesman said.

The spokesman said prima facie the fault lied with the Meerut district administration as not only synthetic and inflammable material ware used in the Fair, but also other measures like presence of more than one exit gate were missing from the venue.

''It is the responsibility of the district administration to ensure all-round security at any public event, which includes fire safety as well,''he said.

The question doing rounds within the bureaucratic circles is how the District Magistrate of Meerut Sriram Krishna agreed to be the Chief Guest at the inaugural function of the Fair where the organisers (Mrinal Events and Exposition Pvt Ltd) did not obtain the required no-objection from the local fire department.

Sources in the state police hierarchy claimed today that the organisers (Mrinal Events and Exposition Pvt Ltd) had not sought the fire department's safety certificate for organising the trade fair. But despite the lack of safety approval, the DM -- Sriram Krishna -- agreed to be the chief guest at the function.

An FIR had been registered against the organisers of the fair for causing death due to negligence and damage to property.


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