Even after six months, the municipal corporation (MC) committee's recommendations for an overhaul of the fire department are yet to be implemented. However, a tiny spark may reduce the infrastructure of the department to cinders.For the past one decade, the department has been reeling under staff crunch with 362 vacant posts, four of its vehicles are also lying defunct for years.
Moreover, the MC has just spent `33,000 out of `2.72 crore allotted to the fire department in 2013. This year, the civic body has proposed `12 crore for the same.In August 2013, seven members of Fire and Emergency Services Committee, after visiting all seven fire stations, made some strong recommendations for its revamp. But till date, nothing has been done.
The committee in its report stated that at least 362 posts of fire department were lying vacant for the past one decade, but till date file is only lying with the UT home secretary and MC officials had failed to pursue the case.Televisions installed in most of the fire stations are also lying defunct; each station should be given power to spend `5,000 for emergency works, as most of buildings need repair and maintenance regularly.
Inspection has revealed that boundary wall and gate of Industrial Area, Phase 1, has not been built. Shutters of parking area in station are also not in good condition in most of the stations.The report further read, "Water tender which was purchased about four years back, is still with temporary registration number and its upper body needs to be fixed on priority, permanent number should be taken. Since the vehicle is standing idle for four years it should be got rechecked from the agency. Such a long delay in making it operational had caused a financial loss to the corporation. Officer responsible for its delay should be penalised for this."
It added, "Two air compressors of Aerotecnice Coltri make are not working. These are needed to fill oxygen in the cylinders. Its repair should be taken up on priority. Some vehicles are in good condition but their tires are not replaced from long time. While other vehicles which are not in running condition have new tires."
One of members of the committee, Surinder Bahga said, "During our visit, we found that all seven fire stations in the city need complete renovation. Even after six months, nothing has been done so far."Chairperson of the committee MP Kohli said, "It is very unfortunate that they did not spend the allocated budget in the fire department. We will raise the issue in the House as it is serious matter."
Chief fire officer Sunil Bhatia said, "There was delay in tendering the process, but we are hopeful of complying with the recommendations soon."