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Big step towards improving ease of doing business: West Bengal introduces online fire licence for industrial units
Aug 08, 2017

In a move designed to increase ease of doing business and “significantly reduce” the time taken to grant fire licence to industrial units, the West Bengal Government has introduced online fire licence.

This is according to Mr Arnab Roy, the state’s Principal Secretary to the Department of Fire & Emergency Services & Environment, at the 11th Safety Symposium & Exposition organized by CII here today. “This will not only lower time for getting fire licences but will also remove the associated hassles and hardships for those setting up units here,” Mr Roy told a large assembly of industry members.

Mr Roy also said the West Bengal Government is not only investing larger funds in fire prevention, but is also trying to devise a mechanism which will make sure that a foolproof safety mechanism is in place, and it is periodically being checked.

According to him, safety is all about a “mindset or a culture” which never lets people become complacent and compromise on safety aspects.

Mr Roy described complacency about safety as the biggest enemy, saying all stakeholders must guard against complacency. “Even if we cannot prevent accidents, we must try and make sure the number of accidents is substantially reduced and the impact is minimized,” he said.

Mr Roy also informed the audience that with more and more high-rise buildings coming up in the city of Kolkata, the West Bengal Government has bought four hydraulic ladders, the tallest among which being 66 metres high.

Earlier, Mr Andrew Page, Adviser to Managing Director, Tata Steel Ltd, said he has “observed a refreshing change” in the safety culture in Kolkata where people are becoming more safety compliant and adherence to safety rules appears a lot greater than ever before.

“I feel happy to see that people are stopping at red signals. This is something which proves that the State Government has able to imbibe greater awareness among its citizens about the benefits of obeying traffic rules rather than flouting,” said Mr Page.

“I feel also happy that the West Bengal Government is making particular efforts in building newer and wider roads. Kolkata is visibly changing,” he observed.

Mr Sandeep Fuller, Chairman, CII Eastern Region Safety Task Force & Executive Director & CEO, Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd, said, “CII strongly believes that foolproof safety in an organization is the result of an effective leadership, vision and governance. By taking adequate preventive and precautionary measures and laying down a set of non-negotiable rules and norms, the management not only demonstrates its commitment to its workforce, but also responds to the financial imperatives as well.”

“In CII’s view, effective safety programmes in workplaces deliver a broad range of business benefits including increased productivity, staff retention and greater employee engagement – things which go a long way in ensuring sustainability, productivity and profitability of an organization,” he added.

Mr Vilas Gaikwad, Co-Chairman, CII Eastern Region Safety Task Force & Chief, Safety (India & SEA), Tata Steel Ltd, said in CII’s assessment, the cost of prevention of accidents and mishaps is much less than the costs that result from accidents and the accompanying medical expenses. “In other words, the benefits of a safe workplace in terms of employees’ sentiment as well as business costs outweigh the investment a business may make to create a safe workplace,” he added.

The inaugural session also saw a CII report titled Leadership Challenges in Managing Contractor induced Risk at Workplaces being unveiled. “The most refreshing finding of the report is that more than 16% of the companies surveyed by a team of experts from CII have scored 80% in safety parameters and compliances,” said Mr Sandeep Fuller, Chairman, CII Eastern Region Safety Task Force.

“In case of leadership quality, around 21% have achieved more than 80% score. Hence, continuous effort of leadership is essential to improve overall performance in safety,” Mr Fuller said.

“We are happy that CII has played a significant role in enhancing the entire safety culture among the companies in this part of the country,” he added.

8 August 2017

Kolkata 

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