With the recent loss of 27 lives in the Mundka factory fire, people’ first concern is safety

A recent fire that destroyed three nearby companies in the center of West Delhi’s busy Mundka Industrial sector brought up memories of a terrible fire that occurred in 2022 and left 12 people wounded.

Even though there were no casualties this time, the tragedy exposes the shoddy safety regulations ailing this industrial center.

The Delhi Fire Service’s 26 fire engines responded quickly, putting out the blazing fires. But the harsh reality of inadequate safety precautions, as shown by the prior incident’s lack of approved construction blueprints and essential fire protection gear, looms large.

The hardy inhabitants of Mundka, who are mostly migrant workers in small and medium-sized companies, go about their lives in a state of disarray. One Smarak Park resident, Sanju Kumar, observed, “This locality lacks basic infrastructure, with sewers and drains overflowing year-round.” We have only stayed here since it is convenient to our place of employment.

Beyond the obvious threats to public safety, Mundka suffers from an oppressive layer of air pollution, often having the highest Air Quality Index (AQI) readings in the city. Some households have fled to other parts of Delhi in response to the frightening high of 616 last year, which the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) declared to be harmful. “The pollution in Delhi is already well-known, but things are far worse here. Another neighbor, Divya Jha, said, “I personally know several families who have moved to other parts of the city for this exact reason.”

The Mundka assembly seat, which is now being represented in politics by the wealthy Dharampal Lakra of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is at a turning point. The striking disparity between Lakra’s reported assets of 292 crores and the harsh reality that people endure raises concerns about accountability and governance goals.

With 292 crores in total reported assets, businessman Lakra is the wealthiest Member of Legislative Assembly of Delhi. In 2020, he secured a resounding win with 53.78% of the vote. In 2015, Sukhbir Singh Dalal of the AAP won the seat with 57.24% of the total vote. Rambir Shokeen, an independent, won the seat in 2013. In all three elections, Bhartiya Janata Party candidate Azad Singh came in second place.

The dynamic election scene is a reflection of the past, with the BJP and AAP fighting for control. Sukhbir Singh Dalal of the AAP and Azad Singh of the BJP have made lasting impressions in previous elections, but the larger North West Delhi Parliamentary seat mostly supports the BJP, indicating a complicated interaction between local and national politics.

Mundka’s story epitomizes a heartbreaking tale of perseverance, ambition, and the pursuit of a safer, sustainable future—a story that resonates not just inside its bounds but across the nation’s conscience—as the Lok Sabha votes draw near.

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