Even as fire incidents have increased in the city during the past one year, the Gurgaon fire brigade is largely dependent on other agencies to deal with any eventuality.
The shortage of manpower and inadequate equipment have largely affected the department’s functioning.
For a city that boasts of 800 high-rise buildings — Hamilton Court is the city’s tallest building at 90 metres — poor fire services have endangered the lives of residents.
Gurgaon only has three fire stations with only 109 firefighters to handle emergency situations. The department has 25 fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms, which can reach a height of only 42 metres.
As such, the department needs more fire stations at Sector 56 and Pataudi for efficient delivery of services.
According to data released by the fire department, nearly 23 people were killed and 48 others injured in several fire incidents in Gurgaon last year, during which property worth
Rs105 crore was also reported damaged.
As many as 899 calls of fire incidents were received during the same period, of which, 70 were SOS calls.
Figures show that in 2010, fire claimed 10 lives and injured 82, while property worth Rs44 crore was gutted.
Likewise in 2010, department officials received 857 calls of fire incidents, while 68 were by those in need of help.
Similarly in 2009, nearly 500 calls of fire incidents were received and 40 were SOS.
In the same year, nine people were killed and 13 injured in various fire incidents, besides property worth R11 crore was damaged.
“With a large number of fire incidents being reported in the city, the department needs good equipment and trained manpower to tackle such situations. Slums and godowns are more prone to such incidents,” said a senior fire official not wishing to be named.
“The department has to depend on assistance from the neighbouring national capital as well as private firms and military fire stations. The response time is very crucial to control the flames,” said the official.
A fire sub-station at Udyog Vihar Phase-1 is still awaiting facilities to start its operation.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon has also failed to provide electricity, phone connection to the new sub-station.