Outbreak of fire at Rajhans Apartment in Gurukul on Wednesday claimed lives of a father-daughter duo while a similar fire at Saket Apartment in New Ranip led to death of a mother and son, due to asphyxiation and severe burns. Four precious lives could have been saved had adequate fire safety measures been installed at these apartments. This led Mirror to conduct a test drive which revealed total disregard for fire safety in several city high-rises. Safety measures and evacuation routes are given a miss, particularly in buildings that were constructed before fire safety norms came into force.
Only four buildings out of 13 that Mirror visited — Satellite Towers (Vastrapur), Priyadarshini Towers (Gurukul), Abhishree Avenue (Ambawadi) and Soham Terrace (Vastrapur) — had fully functional and verified fire-fighting equipment. While three did not have any fire-fighting equipment, six buildings had either faulty or not in working order equipment. The recent fires should have been eye-openers but high-rises — for which mandatory fire safety rules have been framed by the authorities — blatantly violate them. This prevails despite the stern view taken by Gujarat high court on several buildings that have failed to install mandatory fire safety equipment.