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‘Hidden hazards’: Delhi’s fall from glory to 'ticking time bomb'

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‘Hidden hazards’: Delhi’s fall from glory to 'ticking time bomb'

New Delhi, Feb 16 (Ajit Weekly News) The national capital which was known for pristine and glory has become a ‘ticking time bomb’ as many illegal factories have sprung across the city while the successive governments have failed to curb these illegal factories.

The city is the epicentre of thousands of illegal factories which are operating under the nose of civic authorities. These small factories — no matter do provide some job opportunities — but have become the ‘hidden hazards’ of the national capital.

In one of the recent incidents, 11 charred bodies were recovered from a paint factory cum godown in Delhi’s Alipur area, where a massive fire broke out on February 15 evening.

The official said the blaze was so massive that it spread to the nearby godowns and shops.

The deceased, including 11 male and a female, are yet to be identified while the injured have been identified as Jyoti (42), Divya (20), Mohit Solanki (34) and Delhi Police Constable Karamveer.

The unit again was running illegally in the residential area. Though Delhi Police has booked the owner of the factory, the question arises, why was no action taken earlier by authorities?

Rule 33 of the Delhi Fire Service Regulations mandates to obtain a Fire NOC prior to operating a factory within any building, however, the factory, which claimed lives on Thursday, running in the narrow lanes did not even have any permission.

Sources in the Fire Department said that around 50,000 such units are operating illegally across the city and residential areas, including Mundka, Anaj Mandi, Jahangirpuri, Sudarshan Park, Okhla among others.

The NOC is granted by the Fire Department only when the building is equipped with essential fire safety measures.

A senior official of Delhi Fire Service said that many people fail to apply for the certification, resulting in fire incidents that tragically claim the lives of their employees.

This is not the isolated incident which has claimed so many lives in the last five years.

In May 2022, a significant fire in an establishment in Mundka, Outer Delhi, resulted in the loss of 27 lives, marking one of the most devastating tragedies the national capital has seen in recent years. The four-story building was completely engulfed by the fire, sparking widespread controversy nationwide.

These are not the two isolated places where factories are acting like a ‘ticking time bomb’. In Anaj Mandi, which houses around 1000 illegal factories, the workers are left with no choice but to work in these illegal units located in perilously close buildings for their livelihood.

“Whom we should blame, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation, Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) or the corrupt system which runs under their nose,” said Mahesh Tiwari, a resident of Anaj Mandi area.

West Delhi Moti Nagar’s Sudarshan Park narrow and congested lanes are also inviting danger for workers as many illegal factories neither have safety gears or any exit.

In 2019, seven lives were lost when a gas compressor in a unit at Sudarshan Park area blasted and took seven innocent lives. All were workers, away from their native place, here in the Capital to earn livelihood.

This is not the only illegal unit in the area. Basai Dara Pur – cramped, dirty and jumbled – at Sudarshan Park area in Moti Nagar has several small illegal factories in two or four-storey-houses.

In January 2018 also, a massive fire broke out in Bawana’s illegal firecrackers factory which claimed the lives of 17 persons.

The question is will the government restore Delhi’s glory and free the people from these hidden hazards remains to be seen.

–Ajit Weekly News


News Credits – I A N S

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