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The incident where 113 have been dead and over 100 injured owing to a stampede at a temple in Madhya Pradesh, is not one such rare incident as the citizens of India helplessly face such losses many times all over the country.
During the last 20 years stampedes have taken place at Jodhpur (2008-249 dead), Ujjain (1996–39 dead), Delhi (1997–59 dead), Chennai (2005–50 dead), Nagpur (1994–114 dead), Satara (2005–300 dead), Bilaspur (2008–162 dead), Deoghar: Jharkhand (2012-12 dead), Kunda: Uttar Pradesh (2010–63+dead), Kumbh mela (2011–36 dead) Kumbakonam (1992–50 dead), Sabarimala (2011–106 dead) and yet we remain heavily and shockingly under-prepared for such situations.
Poor governance, lack of concern from government authorities and dismal crowd flow management are to be blamed for all such instances. But the majority of the concerned citizens, as the affected party every time, have been indifferent towards such issues and have failed to force the government to undertake and implement stringent measures to check and avoid the same. As victims, it is completely futile to wait for the government to take action on their own and establish a reliable system to prevent such incidents owing to their history of inaction and apathy towards the masses. It has become extremely necessary that the concerned citizens force the government and authorities involved through our collective and persistent efforts to bring much needed changes into the system. It is about time constructive steps are taken to establish a system in place that should include these critical measures:
- Listing all shrines and dates on which large number of devotees are expected
- Release a standard crowd management procedure and policy at the central and state level
- Assign the responsibilities for implementing and executing the same to local authorities and taking stern action on failure to do so
- Specify the administrative and resource support to be provided to such authorities
- Ensure effective and continuous supervision of such activities
- One of the central/state ministries should be in charge and made accountable
These measures are just initial recommendations; we need you, as our supporters to give suggestions. Collective and persistent efforts are required to make sure that Sunday’s stampede remains the last such incident.
We are taking up this issue with the central and state governments directly and also shall request media to help create awareness and pressure on the authorities. We look forward to your suggestions and support to take up better governance for stopping such incidents.