February 5, 2011

20 die in illegal unit fire, but who cares?

So far, 20 people have died of burns out of boiler blast at an illegal garment unit in Delhi fortnight back.  The survivors and  families of those killed have no money to take care of medical and family expenses. Eleven people with over 60 percent burn are getting treatment in government hospitals.

Media and city's social activists are playing their usual game: they are conspicuous by their absence. Had the same thing happened in a posh colony and affected rich people, they would have raised hell. Police, as expected, are downplaying the incident. Most of the victims are poor workers from UP.

The illegal factory at Tughlaqabad Extension ran there for ages, in collusion with police and city administration and in recent times it had expanded into an export unit. A chemical leak on January 25 when about 36 people were working in the factory lead to blast in a boiler used for dyeing garments. A fire tender was called, and it did come in time and doused the resultant fire. It found many victims unconscious when the rescuers reached them. However, the police say, it was a simple fire.

Only exposes the rampant corruption in city administrations and police, and society's indifference to the calamities affecting the poor.

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