Preventing Fire Incidents In Hospitals
The recent hospital fire tragedy in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district government hospital is another in a list of similar ones in the not too distant past. Ten infants perished in a blazing volcano that gutted the newly-constructed special care unit specifically built for the newborns. The gory incident shows how safety norms are thrown out of the window when it comes to saving poor lives. Safety measures even in the best of government hospitals are nothing more than a work in progress. The casual approach to standardising protective aspects in state-run hospitals is numbing. It is doubtful whether permissions from the relevant safety clearing authorities were procured by the district hospital. Were the safety rules flouted and the lives of tiny tots compromised? Were fire audits consistently done? The working condition of fire-fighting equipment like fire extinguishers should be periodically checked, and it is unknown whether their efficiency examination was constantly conducted. Maintenance of electrical wiring on a regular basis cannot be stressed more. Lot of people, including the hospital staff and relatives of patients tend to smoke disregarding the fact that tragedies are waiting to happen in a hospital. Such people, irrespective of their status, should be reined in because plenty of combustible materials that are present in a hospital are waiting to be precursors to tragedies. In a fire emergency, the 2Es – extinguish and evacuate – have to be accorded top priority. Inexperienced workers and inefficient higher supervision could have contributed to the highly-avoidable Bhandara incident. Poor people rely on government hospitals to ensure their and their relatives’ health. Therefore, it is high time the government took precautionary steps on war footing to render the state-run health facilities reliable. The state government should do more than suspension and compensation.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
On Goan Beaches
It is learnt that the state tourism department will soon be launching an app to check illegalities on Goan beaches. Stakeholders such as shack owners, lifeguards, beach cleaners and beach wardens will be given access to the app and it will be their responsibility to report any illegal activity. The added advantage that the app will have is that it will provide photo evidence of the illegality. The app will help act against consumption of liquor on beaches as well as stop littering. The app will come in handy to prevent hawkers from doing business on the beaches. Very soon there will be a dedicated police force operating on the beaches. Hence, this mobile app will be an added advantage to curb any illegalities taking place on the beaches. Given the vast coastline that Goa is blessed with and with the beaches being visited by thousands of locals as well as foreign tourists, keeping a tag on any illegal activity could be a tough task. Hence, it would be prudent to have beach sentinels also who could be given access to this mobile app so that any illegalities are immediately reported by the sentinels to the police with photographic evidence. This will go a long way in preventing littering on the beaches as well stop consumption of liquor on the beaches as also keep a check on the hawkers.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO