Another fire accident, another disaster


It’s not very long ago when we witnessed the number of fires in which very heavy loses of business and life lost and all the related authorities blamed each other for not producing positive results. After some time all of us forgot the incident that what happened, how it was happened, what will be the remedy for losses, who would held responsible and what measures should be taken to avoid or minimize these kind of incidents.

Let’s take a look of the incidents in near past such as Baladia Town Karachi, Oil Terminals, Islamabad high rise Buildings, Govt. office buildings in Lahore, IT tower building Hall Road Lahore, and many others. What lesson we have learned, what kind of basic measure has been taken from relevant authorities, what kind of legislation being approved by the Government, unfortunately very little or nothing.

It is in evidence that after the relaxation of tax in Construction Industry, there is huge number of High Rise Commercial Towers or Residential Buildings are announced by Builders. But when it comes in reality at construction stage, the most neglected area is the firefighting design and poor installation practices being adopted and non followed International Practices to prevent the fire hazards. Especially the kind of public gathering places like Shopping Malls, Business Centers, Marriage Halls and Hotel Industry and so on.

At this moment, the need of the time is to strengthen the rules for the prevention of fire incidents and need to enforce the legislation to follow the set standards. No doubt, some rules are existing but not enough to prevent the fire happenings and to control if it occurred.

The fire at Hafeez Center is not only fire which was initiated by some unnatural means but very well-known factor” SHORT CIRCUIT”. After this blame there is no space left to investigate any other type of root cause while there could be many other reasons to ignite fire, such as miss use of electrical installations inside shop, missing of over load cutout and periodic inspection to ensure the quality of cables laid down inside facility. If we observe carefully it was in evidence that each shop was loaded up to its neck and very little place was left to walk in corridors. The building is known as a land mark for computer, spares parts and all type of computer accessories. The business volume was very high and almost anything belongs to IT and its related technology was available in this building.

Now after fire incident 75% of the building is destroyed and not repairable. An estimated figure tells that more than 5 thousand people will lose their business employment which will directly affect their family’s bread and butter. How this loss will be covered. And also a direct hit will shoot up prices of computer and related items and supply chain will disturb.

There is lot to write about the efficiency of Rescue 1122, Fire Department actions, shortage of water & Foam Concentrate, firefighter’s response time and various other aspects need to be analyzed to decide the future of this kind of business centers where hundreds of visitors have to approach on day to day business. It is a turning point to decide the fate of computer industry.