Following the Mantralaya fire, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revived a four-year-old proposal demanding the installation of wireless addressable fire detection systems at all civic buildings.
The Rs 125-crore proposal was presented to BMC chief Sitaram Kunte last week. Kunte has asked fire brigade officials to prepare the feasibility report for the proposal.
After conducting a fire audit of the establishments related to the BMC, the Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECLI) — a Government of India undertaking — had presented the proposal to the BMC in 2008. Not implemented then, owing to financial constraints, the proposal now tops the BMC’s priority list.
The test run of the project is likely to be carried out at the civic headquarters and A-ward building for which a mini-control room will be set up. After analysing the performance, the civic body will decide on implementing the system.
Under the system, wireless fire links will connect the main building to the local fire station and main fire control room. Wire-free micro communicators such as smoke, flame, gas and beam detectors will be used to send messages directly to the monitoring station.
The wire-free centralised monitoring stations would be installed at the main fire control room, security control room and disaster management cell at the BMC headquarters. This will ensure that the fire alert reaches authorities within a couple of minutes. The proposal had also recommended the replacement of old electrical cables, connections, switches and meters. “It looks good on paper. But, the company has not shown us the practical application of the system. Till then, we cannot clear the project,” said SV Joshi, chief fire officer, BMC.
The opposition wants the BMC to clear the proposal. “The proposal has been neglected for four years. We will now ensure that the wireless system gets installed,” said Dyanraj Nikam, Congress group leader in the BMC.
Samajwadi Party leader, Rais Sheikh, said that the decision to spend taxpayers’ money should be taken only after scrutinising the project carefully. Kunte has asked fire brigade officials to prepare the report after checking the system in use at Nashik.