After two fires at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in less than 10 days, the administration is now contemplating building a separate road for fire engines to enter the railway premises without any problem. Taking a cue from the difficulties faced by the fire brigade on Friday, Central Railway (CR) is planning to remove the steel poles from the main entrance.
The poles are used as dividers, opposite the entrance/exit of the concourse leading to the long distance train platforms outside the CST premises. “The dividers demarcate routes for the vehicles entering and leaving the station. But we will have to remove them if they hinder the safety of the building,” said a CR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. The steel poles will be replaced by flexible plastic obstacles. On December 17, the fire fighters couldn't maneuver the huge fire engines to reach the fire spot because of the fixed poles and grills.
They had to park the vehicles on the adjacent road and then connect the water tanks to the building with extended water pipes. Experts in the fire and safety industry feel it is difficult for firefighters to maneuver inside a heritage building because of internal changes.
Pramod Rao, National President, Fire and Security Association of India told Hindustan Times, “These heritage buildings were not designed to accommodate fire engines. So, these buildings should conduct regular checks once in three months”. In the meantime, CR authorities have setup an internal inquiry in the fire on Friday.
“An inquiry is on. We will remove certain obstructions if the inquiry tells us to do so,” said AK Singh, Central Railway public relations officer. The first report on last week’s fire is with the general manager of CST.