Residents of this historically important town will not be able to deal with any major incident of fire as it lacks trained staff and equipment. There has also been no upgrade of fire services and training of staff has neglected over the past two years.
Sample this, even as the Sirhind Fatehgarh Sahib municipal committee made more than a dozen appointments to the fire department in May this year, the new recruits have not been given any training to deal with an emergency arising out of a major fire situation.
What is even more shocking is that a resident would not be able to inform the department of any fire incident, until he knows the mobile number of an officer.
The only landline number at the office 224101 was disconnected a few months ago due to non-payment of bills for the office by the local body.
When this reporter contacted and requested the executive officer and other officer-bearers to come to the city fire brigade office, none of the responded.
FIRE FIGHTING TENDERS LIE DEFUNCT
The Fatehgarh Sahib fire brigade office had got two fire tenders at a cost of around Rs 20 lakh each during the Congress regime from 2002-2007. Now, both vehicles have stopped functioning and are of no practical use. There are no first-aid kits and other essential equipment in stock.
Only two meetings in four months
Another reason for the lack of action to improve the fire services is that Sirhind municipal committee House constituted four months ago has met just twice and thus important decisions like the passing of the estimate to buy new vehicles has been hanging fire.
"This is even as rules mandate the holding of a meeting every month," claimed local Congress MLA Kuljeet Singh Nagra.
New fire officer, Manjeet Singh, was appointed a week ago and he claims that he had not been given the charge of fire tenders.
Meanwhile, Sirhind MC chief Tirlok Singh Bajwa said it had been just four months that he became president.
"For the past two years, the fire office has been under a sub-divisional magistrate. If there have been any shortages and problems with the department, the MLA would have reported this to the SDM. We will hold a meeting and raise the issue on a priority basis. Telephone services would also be resumed very soon," Bajwa said.