Surat fire tragedy result of crony capitalism?

Surat fire

A fire that broke out at a coaching class in Surat on May 24 claiming 22 lives has led to massive public anger with father of one Happy Panchani, who died in the tragic accident, refusing to take Rs. 4 lakh aid announced by the state government to the families of the victims.

Not just this, Mr. Dipak Panchani offered to give another Rs. 4 lakh to the fire brigade to buy equipment.

There is anger among public because many of the students died after succumbing to the injuries suffered due to jumping to escape the fire. Though the fire brigade reached the spot on time, they did not have ladders long enough to reach the fourth floor. They had to wait for the hydraulic platform to rescue students.

A Twitter user by the name TheAgeOfBananas (iScrew) has given a background to this story. In his words, “The back story is even more horrifying.”

In a series of tweets, the twitter user has alleged how the entire plan which was set up former Gujarat Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel to get hydraulic ladders was botched up when Narendra Modi took over as the Gujarat CM.

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“Former Gujarat CM late Chiman bhai Patel’s Govt has planned for hydraulic ladders reaching 8 floors for top 4 cities in the state (Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara & Rajkot). Keshubhai Patel’s Govt topped that budget with additional Rs 500 crores with a plan to extend this facility for another 100 cities and towns. But this changed as suddenly Keshu bhai Patel was replaces as CM by Narendra Modi after Gujarat earthquake. The fire fighting truck’s cost inexplicably increased to Rs 1 crore from Rs 50 lakhs in 2002. Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah won the contract to supply these equipments in 2005 and at his behest the vehicles being supplied (including replacement of old vehicles reaching 8 floors) could only reach up to 1 floor strangely. All the vehicles were at cost of Rs 1 crore still. Old vehicles were sold off to Adani Group for Rs 5 lakhs (sic),” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Read his entire tweet thread here:

If this story is to be believed, then this fire tragedy is the result of crony capitalism.

Had attention been given to the fire department and ensured that they have all the modern equipments required then the students who died because of injuries sustained in jumping from the top floor trying to escape the fire could have been saved.

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