While I was attempting to write the editorial of this month, I suddenly remembered the Meerut Tragedy in 2006,engaging with the thoughts I remembered the concern letter sent to fellow professionals.
Since the TFT editorial is read by every reader, I thought to remind our fraternity members , the causes of the tragic incident through this column.
The below letter was mailed by me to 100 plus industry stalwarts on 10th April 2015, and you know what? Only 4 responded.
Dear fellow fraternity members
Let’s remember today as the 9th anniversary of Meerut Exhibition Fire Event that killed 64 innocent people on 10th of April 2006 , in outdoor AC Exhibition Structures that electrocuted 64 people to death.
Mrinal Events and Expositions at Victoria Park Meerut U.P had organized the event where devastating fire had broken inside the Temporary Exhibition Hangers of the ‘Brand India Show’.
While we have forgotten the incident that took the entire nation by storm, the relatives of those killed are still waiting for the justice.
ExhiCon Events Update,Monthly ( Now TradeFairTimes) was the first and only media to highlight the incident in all mainstream media and even tried to investigate on the spot ; the reasons behind the entire incident , which were found to due to major negligences on both the organiser’s and vendor’s side along with authorities who permitted the event to run with written permissions.
The Supreme Court of India on 30th July 2014 had appointed Justice (retd.) S.B. Sinha as one-man commission to inquire into the tragedy which was supposed to submit it report on 1st January 2015, but to no avail so far.
Justice Misra pronouncing the judgment, before the single bench commission was formed had said : “As we find, there has been statutory violations and negligence on the part of the authorities in not taking due care while granting permission and during the exhibition was in progress, we intend to direct payment of compensation, by way of interim measure, by the state.”
9 years post the strategy, we still await the governments or exhibition industry associations to come forward and devise Safety and Security Measures so that such incidents are avoided and exhibitions remain a safe place to do business.
‘Standards and Codes’ by IEIA can be an excellent initiative to start mapping such atmosphere and help organisers,visitors and venues adopt safer way to avert such incidents in future.
TradeFairTimes in the past has raised safety issues related with events on may forums for the benefit of the Exhibition Industry and seek industry associations to lead the way forward
M Q Syed