Firefighters had to struggle to reach the affected building at the congested Bhagirath Place in Chandni Chowk when a blaze had broken out last December. As the fire engines could not enter the narrow lanes, they were parked outside on the main road and pipes were extended along the lane to douse the fire.
It delayed the response and made the task of dousing the flames tougher for the firemen.
To meet such situations in the future, Delhi Fire Services has decided to buy sports utility vehicles (SUVs), mounted with portable fire-fighting system, which will be able to navigate the congested by-lanes with ease in case of a disaster.
"There are a number of very congested areas in the city and it becomes difficult for fire engines to reach affected spots in case of a disaster. We have decided to procure six SUVs to reach such areas quickly in case of a fire or any disaster," said AK Sharma, director, Delhi Fire Services.
Sharma said depending on the success of such vehicles, 25 more will be acquired by the department in the future.
Explaining the need for such vehicles, fire officials pointed out that smaller vehicles fitted with fire-fighting equipment will have better manoeuvrability in congested scenarios. Also, since they will be carrying lesser quantity of water, they would be able to move faster.
"The SUVs will have water converted into mist in two cylinders of 50 litres capacity each. The speed of regular fire engines is reduced due to the weight but these vehicles will come in handy for faster response," said a senior fire department official.
"These vehicles will be besides the main fire engines," the official said. The department has also decided to construct more fire stations.
"In emergencies such as a car catching fire, we need not send the main fire engines. An SUV will do," said another official.