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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

At Abohar, neighbours have to put out fires

Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Ferozepur, October 20, 2013
First Published: 19:04 IST(20/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:49 IST(20/10/2013)

The non-availability of any fire tender in Abohar sub-division has added to the woes of the local residents, especially those belonging to the business fraternity, as whenever fire breaks out in the area, people have to depend on help from neighbouring Fazilka, Jalalabad or Malout to put it out.

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The time lost during movement of trucks from the neighbouring areas allows even minor fires to grow into major blazes, causing damage and loss of life which could have been prevented if the sub-division had its own fire engine. 

The two fire engines owned by the municipal corporation have been non-functional for over one year, and in spite of repeated protests, new ones have not been acquired.

The situation is made worse by the fact that the region has a number of factories, including those which process cotton and oilseeds, both materials being highly prone to catching fire. In case a fire breaks out, a huge loss to property and life can occur.

In one week, three incidents have been reported, and in the absence any of any fire tender, people have had to take measures to control the fires themselves.

However, the authorities have taken no action yet. The insensitivity of the local administration towards fire safety measures can be judged from the fact that it gave permission for a religious congregation to be held at the same stadium where stalls selling firecrackers had been set up.

Bowing to public pressure a few months ago, the then local bodies minister Chunni Lal Bhagat temporarily resolved the matter by sending a fire tender from Jalalabad to Abohar, but last month, it was sent back to Jalalabad, the home assembly segment of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.

People speak:

How can a government in a democratic system be so insensitive towards the safety of people and their property? Sugreev Setia, businessman

The SAD-BJP government has no dearth of choppers or funds to raise multiple memorials. Then why are our demands not met? Amit Sharma, resident

The government appears to be awaiting a tragedy to swing into action and get a fire engine for more than two lakh people, Sunit Kalra, educationist

I will move and pursue the proposal to get a fire engine for Abohar at the earliest Paramjit Singh, sub-divisional magistrate.

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