The fabric provided to Mumbai’s fire brigade for their uniforms is not entirely fire-resistant, sources in the department have claimed.
After firemen threatened to go on strike over their worn-out uniforms in May last year, the civic body had assured them it would provide fabric from a high-end brand and pay them stitching charges.
Till then, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would give its fire department ready-to-wear uniforms.
However, firemen claimed while their outfits should be made of fabric that is 65% woollen and 35% cotton, the one provided constitutes only 35% of wool.
“When decisions about uniforms are taken, the administration should consult us, as we are the ones out on the field and can give the administration inputs,” said a fireman on condition of anonymity, as he not authorised to speak to the media.
In May last year, irked with having to turn up at accident sites in old, torn uniforms, and broken helmets, firemen has threatened to attend calls in regular wear.
They had claimed they were spending from their own pockets for decent uniforms.
While the fabric being given to them from this month is for two sets of uniforms, many claim the stitching expenses are paltry.
“They have provided us with approximately Rs 1,200 for two sets of uniforms, which include a pair of coats, shirts, trousers and cap. The market cost for all this is easily around Rs 2,500. Again, we will end up paying from our own pockets,” said another fireman on condition of anonymity.
The fire department, however, has rejected the charges.
“We have provided them with good-quality material. The stitching expense to be paid was decided only after referring to prices submitted by various contractors, who had been providing stitched uniforms,” said PS Rahangdale, deputy chief fire officer.