You might want to check if that old red fire hydrant still stands the next time roads or pavements in your neighbourhood undergo repairs.
On Tuesday, residents of Dadar’s Parsi colony realised that a functional hydrant in their lane had disappeared after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) finished work of laying a footpath in the area.
After initial denials, the civic body dug the footpath once again only to find the stem of the hydrant.
Citizens have now demanded that the BMC restore the hydrant as soon as possible.
Captain Shahrukh Deboo, a resident, said: “We were confident that the fire hyrdrant was here. When we questioned the officials about it, they said it was a figment of our imagination.”
Another resident Dr Rustum Soonawalla said the contractor had uprooted the top of the hydrant and conveniently buried the stem.
Inquiries revealed that the hydrant was a functional one. “We went to the fire department and were told this was the only functional hydrant and catered to the whole lane. If we hadn’t searched for it, it would have been lost forever.”
Residents, however, are surprised at the contractor's negligence. “When we asked the BMC to ask the contractor to restore the hydrant, they said it was ‘untraceable’. How can this be?” questioned Rukhsan Deboo.
Dr Sanjeev Gandhi, another resident of the colony, said, “The work carried out on the footpath by the BMC is very shoddy. Such irregularities in their work cannot be tolerated. What if there is a fire emergency in the area and fire officials have to depend on the hydrant for their water supply? We residents are being put at risk.”
A senior fire official from the Dadar fire station said, “We checked our records and found that the hydrant was functional and we even serviced it a few month ago. The BMC needs to restore it as soon as possible.”
When contacted, Sanjay Kurhade, assistant municipal commissioner, F-north ward said an inquiry was underway.
“I have told my water works department to verify whether there was a hydrant at the spot. If it is confirmed, we will restore it immediately and will consider taking action against the contractor,” he said.