The absence of a fire station in Guru Har Sahai, a subdivision of Abohar, remains a worry on the part of the local residents, especially the business community.
Situated 36km from Ferozepur, its district headquarters, Guru Har Sahai has as many as 100 villages, besides the urban area with a population of 50,000 people, but none of the successive or present governments, has ever bothered to look into this issue. As and when any incident of fire breaks out, the people have to depend upon on tenders from fire stations in neighbouring Ferozepur, Faridkot or Jalalabad.
The crucial time to control the fire is usually lost in the arrival of any fire tender from a distant place, that costs heavily to the victim.
There are a number of rice mills besides other industrial units in the subdivision, which are prone to fire. And, in case of a major fire, a huge loss of property and human lives cannot be ruled out, as the fir tender will take its time to reach the spot of fire.
During the recent festive season, a number of fire incidents took place and in the absence of a fire tender locally, the victims suffered heavy losses. The extent of the losses could have been restricted, had there been a fir station and fire tender available locally.
"How can a government in a democratic system be so insensitive to the safety of a large number of people and their property. Is the government awaiting any tragedy to take place before taking any action in this respect and only then facilitate a fire tender," questioned Ashwani Vohra, a local businessman.
"If the SAD-BJP government has funds for choppers, multiple memorials or a kabaddi extravaganza, then why their long-pending demand is not being met," Subhash Gakhar, a local resident.
Jaspal Singh, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Guru Har Sahai, when contacted, advocated the demand of arranging the fire tender.
"I will move a proposal and pursue it to get a fire tender at Guru Har Sahai at the earliest," assured Jaspal.