The record room of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Hyderabad (BISE) was brunt down in a fire as reported in a local daily. The fire broke out at five o'clock in the evening when offices were closed. The fire tenders were called they were able to control the fire after two hours. Till then, though, most of the 48 years old record and freshly made certificates were gutted totally. Unfortunately, mysterious fires in buildings containing old and important records have become a norm these days. Within a period of less than two years, enigmatic fires have devastated Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) building twice, both times on a Sunday. The beautiful architecture of the Radio Pakistan building in Karachi was destroyed in another fire. The block-79 of Pakistan Secretariat Karachi, an old and very elegant edifice built somewhere in 19th century was also turned into ashes in a similar mysterious fire. In this building, the Board of Revenue Sindh had established its camp office in 1970 after break up of the One-Unit. Due to this fire, most of the precious historical land revenue record stored here was destroyed. In all cases, high-powered inquires were instantly ordered but subsequent action had no alacrity as neither any inquiry report were made public nor any action taken against the perpetrators. In the case of BISE, an inquiry has been ordered by the chairman but the results will be known only when the report is made public. The record of BISE is as sensitive as any other government document therefore; it was the responsibility of the authorities to ensure that the same has been kept in a place protected from the risk of a manmade or accidental fire such as short circuits etc. I request the heads of departments falling under federal, provincial and autonomous bodies to chart out contingency plans to preserve sensitive record at all levels. May be the entire records of various departments should be computerized on war footings for safe custody. -SALIM AHMED QURESHI, Hyderabad, via e-mail, June 19.