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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Fire? Call us, not police, says MIDC fire brigade in Navi Mumbai

cities Updated: Aug 16, 2019 00:51 IST

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation at Taloja has witnessed many fire incidents in the past few years, but information has not always reached the fire brigade on time.

In order to create awareness about fire safety, officials from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) fire unit recently held a training programme for the staff members at Taloja chemical hub.

Officials said they hoped the session, in which more than 300 people took part, would reduce the response time and help them reach the site on time.

During the session, companies in the MIDC area were also asked to display the contact number of the fire brigade and various other bodies prominently at their offices.

The manufacturing units have also been asked to display the type of chemical used in the industry, so that it is easy for fire officials to decide how to douse the fire.

A fire official said most of the calls about fires are re-routed through the police station. “Had those calls reached directly to us, we would have reached much earlier and damage could have been less,” the official said.

Deepak Dhorgude, MIDC fire station officer who conducted the awareness session for the staff members, said, “Late reporting of fire incidents is a major concern and with time this should reduce. The staff need to know fire brigade’s contact numbers and dial them immediately rather than dialing a police station.”

There were 125 calls in 2018, out of which, 119 were from the Taloja chemical hub while six were from nearby villages.

“Most calls were re-routed from police stations, but now we want these calls to reach us directly. We have received 80 calls this year,” he said.

“On June 14, there was a fire at a solvent blending unit and we got to know about it late. We reached the spot late and by then the damage was huge. Fire spreads very fast. Giving the right information on time is key to saving lives and property,” he said.

Satish Shetty, president, Taloja Industries Association [TIA], said, “The fire officials raised their concern about late reporting of fire cases. Hence, the workshop was organised to generate awareness among staff members.”

In case of a fire at the Taloja chemical hub, which is a regular event, the MIDC fire unit takes help from the Kalamboli fire station, which is located nearby.

Avinash Patil, 40, who works at a chemical factory in Taloja, said he used to contact the police in case of a fire.

“We are so occupied with work that we never paid attention to it. I know the police helpline number and call them immediately. It is only now that I have stored the fire brigade’s number,” he said.

In most cases, fire-related calls made to the police are first directed to the deputy commissioner of police, zonal office, and then to the respective fire brigade, which takes up a lot of time. “A direct call can make a huge difference,” a fire official said.

The official said industries in the MIDC area house various types of chemicals, and in case of a fire, they need to be doused in different ways.

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 00:51 IST

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