The train mishap in Amritsar during Dussehra celebrations has shaken the nation. The tragedy claimed as many as 61 lives and injured many. It is high time we reflect on what went wrong and how to go forward. India should seriously consider crowd management strategies to avoid such tragedies.
In light of the recurring stampede at places of mass gathering, including religious sites, a suggestive framework guideline has been developed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) titled Managing Crowd -A guide for administrator and organisers.
We all know that even a little mismanagement can turn things ugly. The most common consequences of crowd mismanagement are stampede and fire outbreak. An undercurrent of uncertainty prevails at these gatherings. A crowd can easily go out of control. And once that happens, it’s very challenging to contain the chaos. Therefore, it becomes quintessential that the organisers of such events must take all precautionary measure to ensure safety.
The first step is to regulate traffic around the areas where an event is being organised. The pandals should have emergency exit and people must be informed about it. CCTV cameras should be installed to monitor crowd movement. Organisers must ensure the presence of police officials, and an ambulance should be kept on standby for any medical emergency during the event.
Unplanned and unauthorised electric wires at pandals should not be permitted. Whenever the event is organised near railway tracks, highways, or a river, organisers must take extra precaution to manage the crowd.
At last, they should meet all the safety guidelines. Let’s prevent what can be prevented and work together towards a better and safe world.