Like most other projects of the UT municipal corporation (MC), its plan of earmarking special spaces in city markets - with pilot projects undertaken at Sectors 17 and 22 - for ensuring free and easy movement and parking for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire engines, died a slow death.Both the police and MC made it a point to keep the earmarked spaces, which were declared as ‘no-parking zones’ for private vehicles, vacant, but only for two months from the date when they were earmarked in 2011. Police was supposed to be the enforcement authority, but failed to keep the areas clear for emergency vehicles.
A visit to the parking lots in Sectors 17 and 22 show that none of the parking spaces earmarked for emergency vehicles has been kept free.
MC’S fire department, too, had issued instructions to parking contractors to not allow parking of vehicles within areas circumscribed by yellow lines in their respective lots. However, the staff of most contractors is clueless about the purpose of these lines.
Yellow lines ear marked for fire fighters have almost disappeared from the parking lots in Sector 17 and 22. The four-inchwide yellow strips were painted to demarcate fire zones.
Fire department failed to uniform the significance of these lines, and in the absence of signboards demarcating the area as no-parking zone, vehicles were allowed to be parked at these places. Over the months, the lines have disappeared, but with severe heat and the recent major fire mishap in Sector 17, the need to earmark such places is being felt again.
These days, parking lots at Sector 17 Bank Square, Sector 22B market, Sectors 34, 35 and Industrial Area are clogged with vehicles during weekdays with no space for fire tenders to move freely.
According to sources in the municipal corporation (MC), number of fire incidents registered increase during the peak summer months from April till June.
Chairman, fire and emergency services, nominated coucillor MP Kohli, said, “We will take up the issue with the fire department. The norm should be followed strictly and a space should be left for the vehicles to move about freely.”
UT fire station of ficer SK Gosain said, “The initiative was taken a few years ago, but wasn’t followed with time. I suggest that market associations themselves earmark a space for emergency vehicles in markets and deploy someone to check that no vehicles are parked there.”