A terrible incident occurred when a blanket factory building at Focal Point Extension area in Jalandhar, Punjab collapsed. Several people died and many injured in the tragic incident. However, relief and rescue department came into action soon after the incident took place, but injured and dead could not be rescued for a long time. It took over a weak for National Disaster Response Force team to rescue the dead and injured. Many people were feared trapped under the debris of a blanket factory building. They described their tragic experiences after they were rescued. It reflects the worst condition of our relief and rescue system. The incident also makes it clear that how responsible our government departments are? In fact, it’s not a time for criticism but a self evaluation for government and administration. The incident is visible for all but a very few people try to know the reason behind the collapse of buildings. Why do such incidents take place? It’s imperative to know that why do we fail to provide necessary aid and facilities to the distressed people? If we fix the loophole in the system, losses incurred due to incidents will be covered to some extent.

Such incidents have occurred across the country claiming hundreds of lives. Even national capital Delhi is not immune to it. A bitter truth of our society is that once the incident occurred due to natural imbalance or human error, people start pointing fingers instead of extending help. A few people come forward to help the victims, while several people try to politicizing the suffering of victims. They do not want to rescue the victims, helping them or normalizing the condition. They indulge in blame game. The people don’t want to hear someone’s points before making them scapegoat. It’s unnecessary for them to hear victims’ views and experiences.

As soon as an incident takes place, the Indians are quick to make statements over it. This is the story of the entire nation. On several occasions, it seems that people are already prepared to make comments on them. Most of them are ambitious to make long leap overnight. Not only local leaders but some senior leaders also indulge in cheap politics. They do not extend help in the rescue operation in road accident, building collapse, fire, flood and earthquake.

Such political leaders and trade unions give sleepless night to the factory owners concerned. Clearly, officials in various departments will reap the benefit in this regard. Their statements reflect that factory owners intentionally demolished the building. Nobody tries to know that why has this incident occurred? No doubt, they can not be spared for the responsibility of incident, but for this some judicial parameters already exited to deal with them. It’s unfair to make them accountable without going through the judicial process. This tactic may be fruitful for politics but it caused frustration among the industrialists. It makes adverse effect not only on the industries but also on the entire process of economic growth. Industrial development generates more employment opportunities in the country. Setting up industries and running them demand lots of endeavor. Entrepreneurs not only want to get more revenue but also to generate employment and make available the better quality of products to the consumers. They treat their employees as assets.

Will a factory owner deliberately construct such buildings which are on the verge of collapse? Why do the people not think that not only the employees but factory owner himself work in the same building. Several construction norms have to be followed in erecting building. Those who flout such norms can be punished severely. Several government offices are entrusted with the task of implementing  such legal norms while constructing buildings.  Despite heavy machineries set up for this, if the factory or building is constructed flouting the norms, are they not accountable for them? However, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal constituted a team for relief works. Such incidents need to be checked immediately.

In fact, unless we fix the accountability of the government officials in this regard, it will be impossible for them to check such incident. Lack of accountability among the government officials is root cause of our failure to check corruption in the country. Even officials have been appointed at the block levels to ensure that no building can be constructed flouting the norms. Those who are not exercising their duties properly should be sacked from the departments. Does the country bear the expenditure incurred on such officials only that they remain indulge in the corruption? We have to deal with this otherwise it will be impossible to get rid of such incidents.

(The author is Resident Editor of Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh editions of Dainik Jagran)