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Mantralaya Fires: Security Failure?

Posted on June 26, 2012 in Politics

By Sirisha Akshinthala:

Last thursday, June 21st, ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ witnessed a fire that was soon followed by one in Delhi. The first fire struck the Maharashtra Government headquarters (secretariat) popularly known as Mantralaya, when nearly 2,000 computers and 4.8 crore pages of government files were burnt and 16 people were injured.

Though, this accident is said to be a short circuit but it looks like an escape excuse. Since the papers related to all the scams were in the Mantralaya; the fire, it seems, was the only weapon to destroy these evidences. This is the state of a prominent government office in the country; sadly, they do not have any proper safety equipment or well-trained security. Government is always busy with scams and looting the common people’s pockets with all type of taxes, hikes in rates etc., but who takes care about the security of our country? If a government building like the Mantralaya is victim to fire disasters, with so-called high security, then what about the safety of a common man in India.

Files related to major scams were burnt and none of the political luminaries were there during this accident. Does this incident look like an accident? Not really, the security showed their severe laps. They failed to stop the fires and left without even noticing it. The fire brigade located just half a kilometre away took 2 hours to reach the place. This is how our security system works. And moreover, the fire tenders were extinguishing the smoke and not the fire. The files in the strategic floor were deliberately allowed to be burnt. What was the reason for that? And as mentioned earlier, not even a single minister was inside, so also none of the senior officials.

Only thing saved was the National Flag by the obedient, truly patriotic security of Mumbai. The important file of Adarsh scam case was charred to ashes and many political scams’ important files and papers were burnt. This looks like nothing but a pre-planned sabotage act?

Here were some major setbacks from the security department which came out after the disaster. There were no proper fire extinguishers, no proper fire fighting equipment, though some equipment were present but that too was not in working conditions, and the funds for security measures went into the pockets of our “Mantris”.

However given that security set up, safety precautions and fire preparedness in a building, which is the heart of government operations, one must have wondered whether conspiracy theories can be ruled out; especially, as confidential papers in sensitive cases may be housed at the Mantaralaya. Mantralaya’s test is finally successful. Probably, all the corrupt “babus” and “behens” ran swiftly and efficiently ever for the first time in their careers. If only they were trustworthy, honest and fast in doing their jobs correctly; this day would have never come.

Mumbai security once again failed to keep up their work. And it’s shame to our country’s security. One is forced to wonder that if it took as long as about 8 hours to control the fire at Mantralaya then what safety and security can a common man expect? It may or may not be completely because of security’s failure as everything compliments for an incident (accident or sabotage) like this. But nonetheless there were several severe laps in security and inefficiency on the part of Maharashtra government can be clearly seen. Similar conclusions can be drawn about Delhi as North block was on fire soon after this incident. Well government, it’s an earnest request that just to kill your crimes, do not burn down the citizen’s property and peace; we can’t sit still thinking that maybe a day would come when you will burn us down for your gains. This laziness of security and irresponsible behaviour of the government has given only a momentary relief to the scams and secrets; the truth will make its way out.