Following the Kalbadevi fire incident, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally woken up to form a five-member committee to formulate a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for fire brigade. Four top fire officials died in the incident owing to mismanagement and poor communication.
The Mumbai fire brigade has been following the same policy since the British era. HT had reported that a new operating procedure has not been laid out despite many buildings in the city having lifts and parking lots.
"We are implementing the inquiry report recommendations. Since there has been no written procedure for firemen to follow in various cases of fire incidents, a detailed and effective procedure will be laid out by the committee," said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner who heads the fire brigade department.
He added, "The committee will consider the best practices followed nationally and internationally, and will also map various processes in consultation with officers and departments such as gas and power supply and hydraulic among others."
The committee will be headed by MV Deshmukh, fire brigade consultant for Maharashtra government. Other members include chief fire officer PS Rahangdale, assistant divisional fire officer RA Chaudhary; director of Maharashtra fire service SS Varik, superintendent of National Fire Academy Kiran Hatyal. The committee has three months to submit the SOP.
"We will formulate the dos and don'ts in case of a fire in congested areas, glass facade buildings, residential and commercial high rises, chemical factories, industrial estates among others. This will be in line with the advanced technology being used in the real estate sector," said a senior fire officer.
The inquiry report submitted by the committee appointed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had also pointed the absence of an SOP and recommended that a new rulebook be formulated immediately.