Department battling shortage of resources, outdated system
The municipal corporation is battling a severe staff crunch. There are just 33 fire stations in the city that employ 1,548 firemen.mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2011 01:02 IST
The municipal corporation is battling a severe staff crunch. There are just 33 fire stations in the city that employ 1,548 firemen.
According to fire officials, they are trying their best to manage, but need more support and better amenities in tackling fire-related incidents. “As per international fire safety norms, the response time to reach the spot should be less than four minutes and there should be one fire station for every 4 sq km area. This means, we need more than 100 fire stations in the city and better road facilities to meet the time limitations,” said a fire official on condition of anonymity.
“Currently we have 33 fire stations in the city, but considering the population and the area we cover, we need to increase the number,” admitted AN Shinde, deputy chief fire officer, adding that they also need latest equipment.
Urban planner Sulakshana Mahajan said the department did not have a proper system to record the number of permissions they gave to commercial and residential buildings. “The existing system is outdated. This is due to lack of initiative by the civic body and the citizens,” said Mahajan.
According to Mahajan, most residents are unaware of the fire safety norms due to lack of clarity. “Nobody knows who is supposed to maintain the fire-fighting equipment in buildings,” Mahajan said, adding that since no fire safety tax was collected it would eventually put limitations on the government.
Citizen activist Krishnaraj Rao said the fire department needed to ensure strict implementation of the rules, especially in shopping malls. “Most basements in malls are not ventilated and even if one car catches fire it will be very difficult to bring it under control,” he said.