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Many more Carlton Towers waiting to happen
February 24, 2010

The tragedy at Carlton Towers is just one of many such things that can go wrong in the city, Loksatta Party said today. All over the city, unregulated construction has led to lots of buildings without proper access, leaving them vulnerable in the event of a natural or deliberate incident. A fire service without proper equipment or preparation, and a police force that is not trained to respond to crises makes this worse.

Party leader C N Kumar, who has been fighting a battle against the BBMP and the Fire Department for several years, says that most of the time the Pallike simply looks for a reason to sanction a building plan, rather than objectively examine whether the proposed construction is safe or sensible. Citing a 14-floor building at the end of a 5-meter dead end road in Jayanagar 1st block, over which the Lokayukta took serious issue against BBMP, he pointed out despite the road leading up to the building being a split-level road on which no fire truck can turn, the BBMP came up with an excuse to issue the approval for the building anyway.

"Under such circumstances," said Kumar, "there is always a risk of unmanageable accidents. Everyone seems to think that his negligence will not be noticed, but when lots of officials take liberties with the law, the risk eventually catches up with us. The Carlton Towers episode is just a symptom, the problem is much more than short ladders."

Loksatta party called for a total revamp of the process for approving building plans, linking this digitally to the Master Plan of the city. A transparent process that allows residents to observe online what permissions the BBMP is giving in their areas is needed. Alongside, the party called for a proper crisis management plan to be put in place, and police officials who are trained to act in such situations, and take proper charge of the situations.

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ToI Express Citizen Matters

Loksatta opposes anti-cow-slaughter bill, says it is divisive
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