Comprehensive Fire Safety Framework and Plan
On the 28th April, 55 representatives from multiple agencies converged as part of a multi-stakeholder workshop organized by Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA). BEYOND CARLTON, as Knowledge Partner for the initiative, anchored the deliberations. The workshop agenda included sharing of strengths and opportunities toward the preparation of a Comprehensive Fire Safety Framework and Plan(CFSFP). This included developing a vision for the CFSFP, understanding challenges, opportunities, and action steps. Opening remarks from Shri Pradeep Jena, IAS, DC-cum-ACS to Government & MD, OSDMA set the tone for the day-long sessions, as he spoke of a “culture of fire safety” and the need to ensure that all public places, government offices, areas frequented by large numbers of people, should treat fire safety as priority. Key stakeholders of the city’s administration also made their opening remarks that placed the issue of fire safety at the centre of city safety preparedness plans. The modern-day challenges of fires in electric vehicles, transportation of flammable goods, hospitals, needed to be addressed at multiple levels. A series of training programs, and inclusion of fire safety in school curriculum was discussed. Dignitaries on the dais brought wisdom and reality into alignment. Traffic Commissioner, Arun Kumar Roy, IPS, Director General of Police (Fire Services), Arun Bothra, IPS, Addl. DG of Police & Transport Commissioner, Sanjay Kumar Singh, IAS, Commissioner Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Ms. Ananya Das, IAS, Commissioner, Cuttack Municipal Corporation, Dr Gyana Das, IAS, Executive Director, OSDMA, led the discussions.
The workshop discussions were ably anchored by Director, OSDMA, Dr. Gyana Das. Mr Venkitachalam Anantharaman, Trustee, BEYOND CARLTON, led an interactive presentation and discussion on the Data, Challenges, An Integrated Approach, Vision, and Roadmap for the preparation of the CFSFP. The participants discussed issues in an open and solutions-oriented manner. A wide stakeholder network participated, and the following departments and organizations were represented: Energy, Forest, Environment & Climate Change, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, State Pollution Control Board, National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Real Estate Regulation Authority, Commissionerate of Police, Housing & Urban Development, Health Services, Directorate of Nursing, Civil Defence, Indian Institute of Architects, Biju Patnaik International Airport, Factories and Boilers, Electricity Department, Electrical department, Explosives department, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. CREDAI, School and Mass Education department.
There was constructive engagement amongst participants and multiple facets of challenges and the work at hand were shared. The key Stakeholder Issues and Potential Action Steps emerged, and will be reviewed for next steps. Issues that were discussed included – need for additional resources, personnel, recent increase in fires in Electric Vehicles, High-rise buildings, Digitization of data, Fire Safety Audits for high-rise buildings, Fire Safety modules for municipal engineers, periodic inspections for high-rise buildings, awareness campaigns, fire parks, electrical wiring of old buildings to be checked, fire apps, mock drills in hospitals, puja/pandal committees to be trained in fire safety, inclusion of fire safety in school curriculum etc. The workshop drew to a close with a detailed discussion on the roadmap for next action steps. A detailed listing of all issues, and potential solutions will be prepared, and a prioritization exercise will be undertaken with each stakeholder for ownership of actions for fire safety. The prioritization will be made based on impact, timelines, resources, and ease of achieving results.