Winter fires
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Winter fires

Post by RK News on Thursday, October 27, 2022

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In Kashmir, It is not uncommon to see high incidents of fire in winters. In the past, many villages and localities have been devastated and families have lost their dear ones. In a recent incident of fire, four residential houses got consumed in Rajouri Kadal area of Srinagar city in a massive blaze on Tuesday late evening. Also, in another incident of overnight blaze on Tuesday, a two storey house was complete gutted and a Masjid got partially damaged in Tarzoo village of North Kashmir’s Sopore area. Common as it is, the blame can easily be put on the Fire and Emergency department of J&K. However, that would be unjust and irrational. Inhabitants, administrators, politicians, management, everyone must accept the responsibility for triggering, neglecting, raking and spreading flames that engulf the lives, property, livestock and the richness of our heritage. A fire can start anytime, anywhere. Every structure and household needs to accept it as a reality and be prepared to handle it. The red colored fire extinguishers are not an ornamental object and needs to adorn every human dwelling. With building/housing norms rejected conveniently due to the absence of strong legislation on the subject, there is little the department can do. What is more painful to bear is that many important government and public service institutions are ill equipped to fight and prevent fire hazards. On top of it there is scrambled power distribution network ready to catch fire anytime, especially in winters when excessive load causes service lines to heat up.  The ‘fire-gap’ needs to be respected and never be shrunk.  The municipalities need to ensure that the compromise of neighbours to mutually raise their structure shoulder to shoulder is never allowed under any circumstance. It must not be an urban requirement only. The loose and poor quality electric wires inside and outside homes need to be snapped. Darkness must be preferred over the blazes that these wires can lead to. Further, no educational campaign is needed for teaching Kashmiris the safe disposal of ashes from Kangris.  In winters we all need to come out of our carelessness while a Kangri is being emptied, or a candle left burning at night. Also, the leaky, old LPG cylinders must be replaced forthwith. Government on its part must tighten the screws of the Fire and Emergency Services Department. Their role is pivotal in preventing tragedies that are preventable without question. Kashmir needs to shrug off its lackadaisical attitude towards fire safety measures.

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