Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ill-equipped to handle emergency situation during Diwali when fire incidents usually take place. The BMC has just 22 fire tenders against requirement of 63.
According to report of Standing Fire Advisory Council (SFAC), there must be one tender on the population of 50,000 and one tender extra on 1 lakh people and according to Bhopal's population i.e., 21 lakh, there must be 63 fire tenders. BMC does not have any tender to deal with fire in the busy markets like Chowk Bazar, Ibrahimpura and Jummerati.
Social worker Abdul Jabbar said, "Fire department of BMC lacks in proper resources. Besides shortage of tenders, fire department doesn't have any tender required to deal with fire accident in busy markets of walled city. There are no special hydrants for fire department. They fill the water with the help of water department's hydrant. Even, fire department doesn't have chemicals and proper dresses for fire officers. If a heavy fire breaks out in the city, I doubt the fire department would be able to control it."
Meanwhile, fire department officers feel that shortage of fire tenders never created any problem in controlling major fire.
BMC assistant fire officer Sajid Khan said, "We fell shortage of fire tenders but we never faced any problem in controlling fire. Fire department always managed well. In case of emergency, we tie-up to obtain fire tenders of police department and BHEL."
"For controlling the fire in narrow lanes and by-lanes of the walled city, BMC would purchase motorcycles," said Khan.
Khan said even this Diwali, BMC has collaborated with BHEL to act swiftly in case of fire accidents caused by bursting of crackers and earthen lamps. Fire department has stationed fire tenders near cracker shop and crowded markets.
During awareness camp, fire department has requested residents to put a bucket filled with water near the place where they burst crackers. People should wear cotton clothes while bursting fire crackers. Don't allow any kind of dry grass and garbage which may catch fire, said an officer.