Delhi govt drafting proposal for round-the-clock fire tenders in city’s markets
The Delhi government is drafting a proposal to deploy at least one fire tender round-the-clock in around 20 prominent markets in the city, senior officials said on Tuesday. In the last 10 years, major fire incidents have been reported from popular markets such as Karol Bagh, Gandhi Nagar, Bhagirath Place and Dariba Kalan.
Fire officials, however, said the proposal would be difficult to implement unless the government addresses the current staff crunch problem in the fire department and remove shortage of fire tenders.
Senior government officials said home minister Satyendra Jain has written to several market welfare associations asking them to provide basic facilities such as rooms for rest, changing clothes, wash room and drinking water for the fire officials who would be deployed with the fire tenders in the respective markets.
The official further said, the proposal was drafted after representatives of several traders association from across the city met Jain on Monday and expressed concerns over the alleged poor response time in case of fire emergencies in congested markets. The government will write to fire department and land owning agencies once it receives a response from the market welfare associations, officials said.
“At least 20 markets are on the priority list. They include Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Khari Baoli, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Sarojini Nagar, Kamla Nagar and Gandhi Nagar,” said Brijesh Goyal, the head of Aam Aadmi Party’s traders’ association wing, who had attended the meeting with Jain on Monday.
Delhi’s chief fire officer Atul Garg said round-the-clock duty would require three working shifts and there has to be basic amenities for the officers on duty, Garg said.
“But other than that, the government will also have to address the current crisis of inadequate resources in the department, which includes staff and fire tenders, for the proposal to materialise,” Garg said, adding that the markets in Delhi account for a large number of fire calls.
According to Sanjay Bhargava, president of traders association in Chandni Chowk, other market associations can learn from Chandni Chowk. The Chandni Chowk market has a similar fire fighting plan in place under the ongoing Chandni Chowk redevelopment project. For this, two locations — one near the Town Hall building and the other outside Kotwali Police Station in Darya Ganj — have been shortlisted for parking fire tenders round-the-clock. The plan, however, is yet to materialise, Bhargava said.
He said two more things have to be considered — removal of encroachments so that fire tenders can easily move in narrow lanes, and developing a system that provides water for fire fighting in the congested lanes. For instance, the Chandni Chowk project envisages a network of fire hose connected to a 6.25 lakh-litre tank to be constructed beneath the park behind Town Hall, Bhargava .