Faridkot district's main fire station at Kotkapura, run by the Kotkapura municipal committee, is unlikely to be able to fulfill its duty, if a fire breaks out as it is short of equipment as well as manpower. Another station at Faridkot is also operation with a lone fire tender and no staff worth the name.
Even as the Kotkapura municipal committee is aware that two of its fire tenders are not in working condition and are more than 30 years old, have not been replaced by new ones. Even the process to get them officially declared defunct has not been started by the municipal committee.
Sources have claimed that employees did try and raise the matter with the management, but the municipal committee did not allegedly respond to its request. A single fire tender is in working condition at the facility.
Shortage of staff has also hit the facility. "There are only 10 employees in all, three drivers, four firemen, who are regular, including three employees given by the Kotkapura municipal committee," sources claimed.
"There should be 66 employees for the three working fire tenders, 22 fire fighting employees of all types are attached to one fire tender to work in three shifts," sources claimed.
The fire station also does not have all the required firefighting material and other equipment with it, with fuel also a problem. The building of the Kotkapura fire station at the premises of municipal committee is in a dilapidated condition.
Another issue with the station is that the financial burden for the fire station is being shared by the Kotkapura MC alone with the other two municipal committees of Faridkot and Jaitu, extending no financial help, sources claimed.
During April, it will become very difficult for the department to handle routine cases.
"The two fire tenders at Kotkapura fire station were off the road before I took charge. We want them to be replaced or repaired," said Gurbaksh Singh, who holds the additional charge of station fire officer, Kotkapura.
"The administrators of Kotkapura and Faridkot municipal committees will be asked to take stock of the situation stock of the situation," said Mohammad Tayyab, Faridkot deputy commissioner.