GS II Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
There are increased incidents of urban fires in India, discuss the causes behind such accidents and steps taken for the management of Urban fire.
Fire service is a state subject and has been included as municipal function in the XII schedule of the Constitution. The municipal corporations and local bodies are responsible for providing fire services in many states. According to NCRB data 48 Indians dies every day due to fire accidents, of those who died, 62% were women.
- A study sponsored by the Ministry of Home Affairs reported that a minimum of 8,599 fire stations are needed in India; however, only 2,087 are in place.
- A study sponsored by the Ministry of Home Affairs outlined that India has a shortage of 5 lakh trained fire individuals, 2 lakh firefighting equipment, and 9000 firefighting vehicles and units.
- Violation of safety norms and lack of standardisation and regulation is a major cause of fire accidents, as large-scale construction of false roofs in commercial buildings and multiplexes is against the national building construction code.
- PUF (polyurethane foam) used for plastic insulation carries a high risk of accidental fire as most of the times it is exposed to electrical wiring which on becoming heated due to overloading or short circuit catches fire immediately.
- Unclear provisions of fire safety audit in terms of scope, objective, methodology and periodicity of a fire safety audit.
Steps Taken for Management of Urban Fire:
- The Standing Fire Advisory Council has laid down norms for establishments of fire stations, equipment, manpower etc.
- Fire services in India comes under the Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution of India and it comes under the domain of Municipalities
National Building Code of India:
- The code incorporates administrative and technical provisions which can be adopted by the States and local bodies to revise and revamp their building bye laws
- It covers detailed guidelines for construction, maintenance and fire safety of the structure
- It is published by Bureau of Indian Standards
- Identifying hazardous industries and fire prone areas and preparing a complete plan on total requirements of manpower and equipment for the entire State
- Adequate number of fire stations, tackling water scarcity, improving coverage in rural areas etc.
- Employing LIDAR-based (Light Detection and Ranging) technologies that can be used to aerially keep a track of setbacks and the presence of fire exits.
- Organise the community in fire-fighting capabilities by providing a local platform for training, helping them and getting equipped.
- Building awareness among citizens about fire prevention and protection measures by organising fire-fighting workshops periodically in localities with the involvement of elected representatives.
- Considering the increasing vulnerabilities to fire all over the country, it is of utmost importance that every state enacts its own Fire Act so that fire vulnerabilities in the state are adequately dealt with and unacceptable loss of life and property is prevented
- Certification of facilities through third-party audit should be made compulsory to eliminate conflicts of interest involving official agencies.
~Source The Hindu
GS II Structure, organisation and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary— Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
2. Whatdo the recently notified rules of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 state? Explain the concerns raised.
The Act seeks to repeal the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, which is over 100 years old the old Act’s scope was limited to capturing of finger impression, foot-print impressions and photographs of convicted prisoners and certain categories of arrested and non-convicted persons on the orders of a Magistrate.
Criminal procedure (identification) Act:
- The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under MHA will be the one-stop agency for storing and preserving the data of arrested persons.
- The State governments can also store the data, but it shall provide compatible application programming interfaces for sharing the measurements or record of measurements with the NCRB.
- The rules state that the NCRB will issue Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for collection of measurements which would include specifications of the equipment or devices to be used, specifications and the digital and physical format of the measurements etc.
- The rules said that in case any measurement is collected in physical form or in a non- standard digital format, it shall be converted into standard digital format and thereafter uploaded in the database as per the SOP.
- Only authorised users could upload the measurements in the central database in an encrypted format.
- Samples of those detained under preventive Sections such as 107, 108, 109, 110, 144, 145 and 151 of the CrPC shall not be taken unless such person is charged or arrested in connection with any other offence punishable under any other law.
- It can also be taken if a person has been ordered to give security for his good behaviour for maintaining peace under Section 117 of the said Code for a proceeding under the said Sections.
- The rules do not mention the procedure to be adopted for convicted persons.
- The procedure for destruction and disposal of records are yet to be specified by the NCRB. The rules state that any request for destruction of records shall be made to the Nodal Officer who is to be nominated by the respective State Government.
- The nodal officer will recommend the destruction after verifying that such record of measurements is not linked with any other criminal cases.
- The Bill allows retaining the data for 75 years. The data would be deleted only on the final acquittal or discharge of a person arrested for an offence. The retention of data in a central database and its potential use for the investigation of offences in the future may also not meet the necessity and proportionality standards.
- Depriving law enforcement agencies of the use of the latest technologies would be a grave disservice to victims of crimes, and the nation at large. Besides better scrutiny and data protection law, measures need to be taken for better implementation of the law as well.
- The need is to have more experts to collect measurements from the scene of crime, more forensic labs, and equipment to analyse them to identify possible accused involved in a criminal case.
~Source The Hindu