The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station will earn another distinction if the current proposal to set up a high-end fire and smoke detector system at the station and its premises, proceeds as planned. This is the first time that such a system would be in place on the suburban system of Indian Railways.
The Central Railway (CR) authorities have recommended this pilot project, which will cost around Rs6 crore.
It was proposed after three incidents of fire were reported at CST station in late-2010, which affected movement of people entering and exiting the premises. It was also found that the chemical components inside hand-held fire extinguishers are dangerous for the environment. The authorities, therefore, are in the process of replacing it with environment-friendly chemicals. They have also set up a committee that would constantly monitor the working of electronic appliances such as air-conditioners at their offices.
“We are working on the technicalities of these smoke detectors and will adjust it in a way that it would detect only when the smoke exceeds a certain density,” said a senior CR official.
According to the plan prepared, smoke detectors will be installed every few meters on the roof at station premises including the beginning of platforms and ticket counters. Even canteens, railway union offices and railway police offices, would be included. The system would be centrally connected to a control room. CR plans to install beam detectors for open areas near the stations.
“There is a need for installing such fire alarm systems at buildings. Platforms being an open area and at a height, there wouldn’t be much need for them,” said Pramoud Rao, a fire expert. “I will be able to comment on Monday,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR.