The fire department headquarters in Sector 29 has no electricity supply since the heavy rainfall on Tuesday evening, putting lives at risk as the department’s fire alarm technology does not work without power.
In a city which has more than 1,100 high-rises and a population of about 20 lakh, fire tenders might not be able to attend to an emergency on time in the current situation.
All fire-related complaints made over the phone are directly registered at the Sector 29 headquarters, which has its own Computerised Fire Alarm Monitoring System (CFMS).
In case of a fire, an official at the fire headquarters sends fire alarm signals through CFMS software to respective fire stations for rescue operations. Alerts are also issued to other fire stations to standby for rescue operations.
But, with no electricity, CFMS is non-operational and all complaints or alerts being send manually leading to a delay in emergency services and confusion in coordination, an official said.
Fire officials have also been registering complaints and reports using torchlight at night. They are drinking water from external supply as the water purifiers are non-operational.
“The power backup only suffices for pumping water for filling fire tenders and it is insufficient for other uses,” IS Kashyap, fire safety officer, said.
Officials attributed the outage to faults in underground cables.
“Strong wind and rain on Tuesday led to overloading and the transformer at the fire station broke down. Efforts are on to solve the faults and restore power immediately,” Naveen Verma, superintending engineer (operations) of DHBVN, said.
The fire department falls under the purview of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon. MCG Commissioner TL Satyaprakash said a report has been sought on the matter and necessary actions would be initiated accordingly.
The city’s fire department has 128 officials. Half of them are stationed at the headquarters.
In a National Disaster Response Force survey last year, it was found that Gurgaon needs more than 17 fire stations and 350 fire tenders to effectively tackle all fire hazards.
The city currently has only five fire stations, one of which is run by a private company. Also there are only 40 fire tenders.