India is prone to vulnerable stampedes whenever big functions are organised since there is always lack of planning and management skills. The low tolerance of people in crowded spaces is also one of the reasons for such tragedies.
Administration has to play very crucial role in managing huge gatherings and try to minimise the risks and loss of lives. But, everytime administration fails to fulfill its duties. Voices are now being raised for advanced warning systems across India as the huge gatherings needs to be managed properly with planning. It is expected that an integrated policy framework and planning would reduce the casualties and loss of lives to a great extent if it is operated effectively at the time of these manmade disasters.
In the recent Patna stampede which broke out during the Dussehra celebrations at Gandhi Maidan on October 3 33 people died and over 50 got injured, according to the Bihar State government official figures. The tragedy occurred when people were returning after watching the Ravan Vadh ceremony where a huge crowd had gathered to witness the event.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi spoke to the Bihar Chief Minister, Jita Ram Manjhi to inquire about the stampede. He announced a compensation of 2 lakh each for the next of those killed and 50,000 for critically hurt.
ABVP on Anshan
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has held one day fast to protest against the Bihar Government for its careless administration and to console the deaths of innocents in Gandhi Maidan during the stampede of October 3. While addressing the volunteers, Kshetriya Sangathan Mantri, Gopal Sharma has asked the administration to take firm steps and to suspend the State’s Principle Secretary (Home), Amir Subhani for not keeping a view over the series of misfortunes in the capital. Kshetra Karyavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Dr Manmohan Singh has claimed the incident as an administrative failure. He called the society to be aware of such awful government. Pradesh Sah Mantri, Himanshu Yadav, Vishwavidyalaya Sanyojak Ashish Sinha, Vibhaag Sanyojak Amit Sharma, Sujit Pandey, Dr Girish Gaurav, Viky Rai also addressed the protest and thousands of karyakartas were also present there. —Sanjeev Kumar from Patna
The stampede occurred because of the ill-managed organising of the event with no proper channel to escape in case of emergency. An eyewitness told that, there were four entry/exit gates while entering the Maidan but when the tragedy took place only one gate was open and others were blocked because of the two-wheelers' parking in front of them.
The recent tragedy according to the sources took place as a woman accidently fell on the ground after stucking into a cable wire, a mob humouredly claimed that a live electric wire has been plunged on the ground whereas it was a cable wire which had collapsed. This resulted in the outrage.
According to the sources, the police and organising committee officials were more interested in VIP and VVIP guests. The officials were least bothered about the civilians because they were busy looking after the special guests.
Madhya Pradesh Stampede: Ratangarh Temple in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh on October 13, 2013, killed 89 people and injured more than 100. Nearly 1,50,000 devotees had gathered to celebrate Dussehra at the Ratangarh Temple.nNashik Stampede: A stampede broke out at the Kumbh Mela at Nashik on August 27, 2003 near the holy Godavari River. The accident claimed 40 lives and injured 125 devotees who had come for holy bath during the Kumbh Mela.nMaharashtra Temple Stampede: During a religious fair at Mandher Devi Temple in Satara district of Maharashtra, a stampede killed 350 people and injured 200 devotees on January 26, 2005.nHimachal Temple Stampede: A horrible stampede slaughtered 160 devotees and more than 400 were injured in the famous Naina Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh on August 3, 2006 due to a shelter collapse.nRajasthan Temple Stampede: A tragic accident in the Chamunda Devi Temple of Rajasthan claimed the lives of 120 pilgrims, leaving 200 injured in September, 2008. The stampede took place during the Navratra festival in the Jodhpur city.nPratapgarh Stampede: 63 people were killed and over 100 injured on March 4, 2010 as a stampede took place at Ram Janki Temple in Uttar Pradesh. The incident was believe to have occurred as an unfinished gate of the temple fell, creating panic among the devotees gathered to collect free food and clothes on the death anniversary of wife of Kripalu Maharaj.nSabarimala Stampede: In one of the worst stampedes in India, 106 devotees were crushed to death and more than 100 were injured on January 14, 2011.
Gandhi Maidan of Patna is the same premises in which a series of bomb blasts rocked the city at a massive election rally for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on October 27 in 2013. Of the estimated 3, 00,000 participants at the Hunkar rally, 6 people were killed and 85 others were injured in eight bomb blasts. But, Government has failed to learn a simple lesson of security and management. There were many factors involved behind this outrageous tragedy including improper planning, no strategic approach, no risk management team, no parking facility, no facility of handling causalities if in case any misfortune takes place. Lack of management is the key factor for both the tragedies of Patna and other manmade disasters which happens anywhere in the country. According to the eye-witness, the factors of predicting such misfortune can be seen at Gandhi Maidan also which includes, lack in planning of the venue management, no proper announcements, improper entry and exit gates, unacceptable security and forces, parking in front of exit gates and full attention towards VIPs and no consideration of common people.
(With inputs Sanjeev Kumar, Patna)
The Event organising committee must ensure:
•Providing a Safe Venue
•Alerting the Statutory Services