Fire at Infinty Tower raises question on safety norms in offices

Kolkata: The Monday morning fire at Infinity Tower in Sector V of Saltlake, Kolkata, underscored the need for setting up a standard fire safety norms in the offices in high rises across Kolkata. Though no casualty was reported but the fire indicated how the office administrations of the offices were taking it easy on ensuring fire safety.

The fire serviceman refused to comment on the fire situation. However, Amalesh Jana, a fire serviceman said, “we suspect that the fire broke out because of a short-circuit issue.”

Javed Khan, West Bengal Fire Service Minister said, “probe is on to find the actual reason of the fire. Necessary legal actions would be initiated against the culprits.”

Notably, the Infinity Tower housed offices of several companies and over a thousand employees work there.

Kolkata had witnessed quite a few fire accidents in recent times. Crowded marketplaces frequently face such dangerous situation.

These incidents raise questions on the poor maintenance of the infrastructure.

Despite the fire service setting up stricter guidelines, the owners of commercial places do not pay heed to the norms and risking  the lives of thousands.

A senior fire service official told, that the main reason behind most fires in Kolkata was a short-circuit issue. Hooking was rampant in several old market complex like New Market, Burrabazar, he added.

Almost 60 percent of the buildings in Kolkata does not follow safety rules. No proper fire exit, lack of operational fire fighting equipment and congested environment also add to the woes.

While the people of the city of joy opined that the government must be vigilant against corrupt practices regarding issuing fire safety certificates, it was also the duty of the office administration to ensure that every employee must be aware of fire safety measures.

(Inputs from Arnab Mitra, photojournalist with