THIS is apropos of the news report ‘Death of young man: KESC chief booked for manslaughter case’ (Dec 11).
It shocked me to learn from the news item that as a consequence of the Sindh High Court (SHC) order to merely register a case and effectively proceed with the matter on the unfortunate death of a young job-seeker trying to escape an incident of fire in the State Life Building, the case was lodged against the KESC Chief at the sole discretion of the police.
We have had innumerable huge fires resulting in loss of many lives and property worth billions, yet those responsible to effectively respond to all such accidents have gone unaccountable. On the contrary, this hurriedly unsubstantiated and nominated FIR will damage the case.
At the very outset it fails to ascertain those responsible for negligence in providing proper precautions and safety standards and directions within the building to escape in any such eventuality, essentially a responsibility of the Estate Department of the SLIC.
It also needs to ascertain how long did the fire brigade take to respond to the emergency?
Why did they not have or put to use a landing pad/trampoline, the proper equipment to save the boy from his fall, a basic requirement in cases requiring to jump down if left with no other choice of escape.
Do we have enough fire brigades to cater to this metropolitan city, the seventh largest populated city in the world? Are the officers fully equipped and trained?
All these concerns still remain unanswered and will sadly result in repetition of such tragedies! As we have already witnessed in the last two months the loss of over 250 precious lives, it seems that sadly the police have been pressured to quickly wrap up the matter to protect those who were truly responsible for this tragedy due to their power and position, thereby choosing to make the KESC a scapegoat.
It is time the fire department, a responsibility of civic agencies, provincial government and others, were awakened and held accountable for the lacking facilities, negligence and depleting amenities/services despite paying fire and development taxes each month, since the Sindh High Court has ordered to hold those responsible and did not nominate specifically the KESC.
JAMEEL YUSUF Karachi