Calls for devising effective strategy for disaster risk reduction, management
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday expressed concern over the habit developed by Pakistanis as a nation not to work honestly. He said people in different departments are by and large dishonest in discharge of their duties.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the Fire Safety Provisions – 2016 of Building Code of Pakistan here at the ‘Aiwan-e-Sadr’, the president said that natural and unforeseen disasters can occur anytime but with timely, safety measures and better enforcement, losses can be avoided or at least curtailed.
He underlined the need for devising an effective strategy for disaster risk reduction and disaster management in fire-related incidents to ensure safe living conditions for the people. He highlighted that it is a recognised international best practice to have special arrangements to deal with all sorts of emergency situations, including fire-related accidents at all public places, including commercial and industrial units and residential areas.
He noted that fire safety arrangements in the country have been on the decline with the passage of time, adding that in the past, due to absence of uniform nature of safety provisions, approach towards unforeseen disasters has been rather reactive than pro-active.
“Resultantly, in recent times there has been an increase in fire-related accidents at offices, industrial units and buildings in which not only precious human lives have been lost but have caused huge financial losses,” he maintained.
He appreciated that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) with cooperation of all other stakeholders have now developed a comprehensive legal framework which will certainly be useful in preventing and curtailing fire incidents.
He said that any law or code of conduct cannot be effective and applicable unless it is developed according to local conditions, environment and available facilities and noted with appreciation that local conditions have been taken care of in the new legislation which will hopefully guarantee its success.
He said that it is a general observation that unforeseen accidents, including fires generally occur at such places and buildings which are relatively old, congested and frequented by people. “Furthermore the complex network of electricity and telephone wires in old historic parts of most cities of the country further endangers the situation. Therefore, it is necessary that a strategy should also be devised to protect old buildings from such accidents”, he stressed. He said that it is a basic responsibility of the government to ensure protection of lives and property of the people. He noted with appreciation that preparation of new fire safety provisions is a big achievement of the present government and hoped that their implementation will further safeguard our people and property.
He congratulated the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and all institutions and people who extended their intellectual and technical support in preparation of these provisions.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the new fire safety laws will be instrumental in protecting peoples’ lives and properties.
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Major General Asghar Nawaz and Pakistan Engineering Council Chairman Jawed Salim Qureshi also addressed the ceremony. On the occasion, the president was also presented a copy of the Building Code of Pakistan Fire Safety Provisions-2016. He also gave away certificates of appreciation to Task Force Members of PEC for preparing fire safety provisions. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra was also present on the occasion.