The inevitable happened yesterday. I’m talking about the fire that ravaged a part of one of the many death traps in Chennai. This trap which goes under the named of Saravana stores like many others of its ilk are grotesquely ugly multi-storied buildings that are built with scant respect for the laws and rules of the land. These buildings have neither fire and other disaster safety mechanisms nor simple things like a fire exit or even worse windows.
The damage from this fire is estimated at 1.5 crores, peanuts when you view in perspective of the business done annually. What is disturbing is that money power has tied down the legal and government machinery here. Unlike Delhi where on the strength of the Supreme Court verdict, mass demolitions of unauthorized constructions went on till politics intervened.
Sadly nothing will change, despite this accident and all the hue and cry it raised. Why? Simple, nobody died. Down the ages someone had to die for others for any good to come about. It started with a cross and it goes on today. Only when a death occurs will some knee jerk reaction happen for the guardians of public safety when regulation could have nipped such incidents in the bud.
The question is how many more must die?