Sunday’s fire incident has exposed the fire department of the municipal corporation. Municipal Corporation committee’s nine-month old recommendations for an overhaul of the fire department are yet to be put to use even as a tiny spark could reduce the infrastructure of the department to cinders.
For the past one decade, the department is short of 362 employees, while four of its vehicles are lying defunct. To top it off, the MC had spent just 33,000 out of the 2.72 crore last year for fire equipment. This year, civic body has proposed 12 crore for the same.
In August last year, seven members of the fire and emergency services committee, after visiting all seven fire stations made some strong recommendations for its overhaul, but till date nothing has been done.
The committee in its report stated that at least 362 posts of fire department are lying vacant from past one decade, but till date , the file is only lying with UT home secretary and MC officials failed to pursue the case. Televisions installed in most of the fire stations are not working; each station should be given power to spend 5,000 for emergency/urgent works, as most of the buildings need repair/maintenance regularly. Inspection has revealed that boundary wall and gate of industrial area Phase 1, has not been built. Shutters of the parking area in station are not in good condition in most of the stations.
The report further reads: Water tender that was purchased about four years back is still with temporary registration number and its upper body needs to be fixed on priority basis, and permanent number needs to be taken. Since vehicle is standing idle for four years it should be got rechecked from agency. The long delay in making it operational had caused a financial loss to the corporation. The officer responsible for its delay should be penalised for this.
Two air compressors of Aerotecnice Coltri Make are not working. These are required to fill oxygen in the cylinders. Its repair should be taken up on priority. Some vehicles are in good condition, but their tyres have not been replaced since long, while other vehicles, which are not in running condition, have new tyres. The committee proposed that their tyres should be interchanged immediately.
Committee chairperson MP Kohli said, “It is very unfortunate that they did not spend the allocated budget in the fire department. We will raise this issue in the house as it is a serious matter.”