In response to the terrible fire accident in Kailash bar in Kalasipalya that claimed five innocent lives, the Hon’ble Chairman of the Standing committee on Health (of BBMP) says: “First we will compile a list of bars in the city.”
Are you kidding me?
BBMP does not have a list of bars and pubs and restaurants?
I bet every corporator and engineer knows exactly how many bars are there in their ward and how many of them should not be there. You don’t need computers for this! They might even have a little notebook in their bulging front pockets with all such details.
It’s time to call a spade a spade. The real reason why we have fire accidents and terrible deaths in restaurants and bars etc is CORRUPTION.
The BBMP has all the powers regarding restaurants – right from granting the license, commercial tax assessment, kitchen license, liquor license, monitor compliance, hygiene and safety norms adherence, issue notices, suspend and even canceling licenses. They also have all the information officially from the Fire department that said 106 high rise buildings do not have fire safety measures in place. Since 2015!
But no action is ever taken. Everyone is happy living with illegal restaurants and bars. Then they show up with great concerned look on their faces when some terrible accident happens and after demonstrating sympathy by declaring ex-gratia they get on the high pedestal and make noise about need for ‘awareness sessions’ and ‘enlightening students and RWAs and offices.’
What utter nonsense is this?
The students don’t need any gyan from you. RWAs certainly don’t need any awareness. They already know the ticking time bomb we are sitting on. Folks from Indiranagar have been screaming for years and finally some action is being taken.
The awareness and training is needed for BBMP officials on doing their duty – due diligence in issuing licenses and enforcing the existing laws of zoning, noise pollution, fire safety and being ruthless in canceling licenses where there is slightest possibility of mishap.
The Mayor should suspend all the concerned officials of the ward and the zone to allow free and fair investigation and then act on the report.
But then, the Mayor has no such powers. Even if he did, I wonder if he has the courage to do the right thing.
Not just Bengaluru, but all our cities are in great risk due to rampant corruption in civic bodies that grants licenses without care or concern about zoning, safety. The only way forward is for concerned citizens to unite and fight this menace, we all know that the political parties are in cahoots when it comes to this, while pretending to fight about some ideology that cannot bring the lost lives back.