Tata Group chief Ratan Tata Thursday slammed the government for not learning from the past and failing to put in place a crisis infrastructure that could be activated immediately after terror attacks in the city.
“We had a bomb blast some years ago. We should have learnt to get a crisis infrastructure in place that could snap to attention as soon as something happens,” he said outside Bombay House, headquarters of Tata companies.
“If we don’t have this, we will be subjected to great need of lack of protection for the citizen. People have been killed who are absolutely innocent,” he said.
Tata, whose group property Taj Hotel was at the centre of terrorist attack, said that the “terrible wanton” attacks on innocent people and destruction of prominent landmarks in India deserve to be condemned.
“Guests who have been innocent have been killed. People have got killed in the hotel. People got killed on the road,” Tata said.
Noted adman Suhel Seth who was one of the guests at the Taj last night, said, “Hotel management worked very efficiently to manage the crisis and text messaged the guests about the law and order problem that helped many to come out in time.
“It is a pity that the government has no crisis management and it looked like the callousness of a third world county instead of the financial capital of India.”
About the extent of the damage, Tata said he won’t be able to comment until his staff is able to make an assessment.
“We have not made the assessment. We have not been able to, we have been evacuated the hotel.”
When asked about the situation in the hotel, Tata said entire staff was evacuated at 8 in the morning and the building has been taken over by police.
“Our staff members have lost their loved ones. All this could have been minimised. But it is easy to say. Everyone is doing their best, but it is not coming together fast,”
“This is a very very unfortunate situation, which none of us are going to forget. My message really is that the government and state authorities should also not forgetthat,” Tata said.
There have been more than 400 guests at Taj Mahal hotel, Tata said.
Later he told private news channel NDTV: “My message really is that the government and state authorities should also not forget we had a bomb blast years ago. We should have learnt to get a crisis infrastructure in place that could snap to the attention as soon as it happens.
“It became very clear last night that we still do not have a crisis infrastructure in place in the city”.
If citizens of Mumbai have to live with this kind of environment, an infrastructure that would cope with this is needed, he said, adding unless such a system was in place citizens would continue to be subject to great deal of lack of protection.
“Innocent people have been killed on roads, in hotels, guests have been killed, our staff members have lost their loved ones, all of this could be minimised. It is very easy to say everyone is doing their best but it is not coming together fast,” he said.
“We must show that we cannot be disabled or destroyed, but that such heinous acts will only make us stronger. It is important that we do not allow divisive forces to weaken us.
We need to overcome these forces as one strong unified nation,” Tata said in the statement.