MC continues to play with fire | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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MC continues to play with fire

It seems the civic body has not learnt any lesson from the fire incident at Sector 17 on June 8 in which two firefighters lost their lives, as the Fire and Emergency Services Committee of the municipal corporation (MC) has not held a single meeting since then.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 02, 2014 13:02 IST
Hillary Victor

It seems the civic body has not learnt any lesson from the fire incident at Sector 17 on June 8 in which two firefighters lost their lives, as the Fire and Emergency Services Committee of the municipal corporation (MC) has not held a single meeting since then.

Surprisingly, in the monthly MC House meeting held on June 26, though the agenda of providing insurance cover to firefighters was placed, but it was not discussed as the meeting was adjourned.

Committee chairperson MP Kohli said, “It seems the officers are waiting for some other big tragedy to happen as they never called any meeting even after such a big tragedy. The most unfortunate thing about the fire department is that it needs a complete overhaul, but officers are not taking it seriously.”

Another member of the committee, Surinder Bahga, said, “We gave them a recommendation for an overhaul of the fire department in August last year, which is yet to be implemented. A tiny spark may reduce the infrastructure of the department to cinders, but the officers are not at all bothered.”

When contacted, chief fire officer Sunil Bhatia admitted that no meeting was held after the tragedy, but they would soon hold one.

A seven-member Fire and Emergency Services Committee had, in August 2013, made some strong recommendations for revamp after visiting all the seven fire stations. But till date, nothing has been done.

In its report, the committee stated that at least 362 posts of fire department were lying vacant from the past decade, but the file had been lying with the UT home secretary, and MC officials had failed to pursue the case.

“Televisions installed in most fire stations are also lying defunct. Each station should be given power to spend ? 5,000 for emergency works, as most buildings need repair and regular maintenance,” the report said.

Inspection has revealed that the boundary wall and gate of Industrial Area, Phase 1, has not been built. Shutters of the parking area at the station are also not in a good condition at most stations.

The report further stated, “Two air compressors (needed to fill oxygen in cylinders) of Aerotecnica Coltri make are not working. Their repair should be taken up on priority. Some vehicles are in good condition but their tires have not been replaced for a long time, while other vehicles, which are not in running condition, have new tires.”