More than 50 percent inspected hotels shut for fire safety violations

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The Delhi government has shutdown 58 Guest Houses in Karol Bagh after their fire safety certificates were cancelled for violations. The action was taken after inspection of 80 such establishments, Delhi Fire Services stated. The action was taken after the massive fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel in Karol Bagh which claimed lives of 17 persons on February 12, 2019. Although the hotel business was back to normal in Karol Bagh, however, Delhi Fire Service on February 13, 2019 began a fire-audit in about 380 hotels across the central Delhi area. The Delhi Government has directed the fire department to inspect buildings which are five floors or more and submit a report on their safety compliance within a week.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain said the fire department will intensify drive across the city to locate illegal constructions and hotels violating fire safety norms to prevent recurrence of any such incident. Six teams have been formed to inspect the guest houses in Karol Bagh area, he said. The inspections shall continue.

The rampant violation has been exposed where out of the 80 establishments inspected more than fifty percent of them were shut. According to Jain, municipal corporations and police have been asked to take necessary action to seal these establishments.

In Meghalaya, the mushrooming of hotels and guest houses, besides establishments offering bed and breakfast, home stays, hostels, and with the entry of Oyo, Shillong and district headquarters are getting chocked with such hospitality establishments at every nook and corner, including the residential localities, which has changed the demography of all these said areas into a commercial ones.

The Meghalaya Fire Services Department together with the District Administration and the stakeholders have actually closed their eyes to the mushrooming of hospitality establishments. In Meghalaya, not only are the fire safety norms being violated, other provisions like proper sanitation, water supply and parking facilities too are not maintained, not to talk about infrastructural provisions. In case of emergency, establishments in the narrow lanes and bye-lanes are not at all approachable by the fire bridge, but have been taken up by Oyo.

In case of any casualty, the Fire Services department, district administration and the local authority, be it the village durbar or the house owners, besides the owner of the hotels, guest houses, hostels should be held responsible for endangering not only the lives of the inmates, also for the loss of property and other collaterals of the localities due to congestion and unscientific construction of such commercial complexes even in the residential localities.

If the inspections are conscientiously carried out in the state of Meghalaya, the outcome will be more horrifying than the Karol Bagh situation. As of now, the stakeholders have not realized the seriousness of the situation till tragedy strikes.

Simply converting any establishment into the hospitality industry does not mean that the state government is promoting tourism. Exposing the lives and property of both the tourists and the neighbourhood into such haphazard development is catastrophic in nature. Wake up before it is too late!