Import of 3 fire-fighting vehicles for Mumbai delayed by 3-4 months amid Covid-19 pandemicUpdated: Oct 18, 2020, 00:28 IST
Three fire-fighting vehicles that the Mumbai Fire Brigade is importing from the Netherlands and Germany will arrive three to four months late due to the pandemic. The vehicles suit Mumbai’s urban conditions and were expected between August and January 2021. They will now arrive between December this year and May 2021.
The specialised vehicles include one with a water tower with booms that can extend up to 55 metres and will help fight fires in congested localities. The chassis and super structure of this vehicle are being imported from Germany. The vehicle was expected to arrive between November and December, but will now arrive in February 2021. Booms of this vehicle can go over other structures and deep into the fire pit. In buildings with glass facades, booms can break the facade and extend into difficult corners of the floor on fire.
A vehicle like this one would be effective in fires like the one that gutted south Mumbai’s cutlery market in Masjid Bunder in the first week of October, and took over 40 hours to douse. A senior civic officer said, “In case of that fire, the structure that caught fire was in the centre portion, surrounded by smaller structures, and was very difficult to reach. The 55-metre water tower will help in such situations.”
Mumbai Fire Brigade has also purchased three water transportation vehicles with submersible pumps that can draw out water from a water body — such as the sea or a lake — up to 3 kilometres away through hoses. The vehicle has a special system to lay and recover hoses, with submersible pumps that can lift water from a depth of 30 metres. The system is from the Netherlands and is expected to arrive in December or January, after which it will be mounted on a vehicle that is presently being assembled in Palghar by a fire-fighting equipment manufacturer.
The fire brigade has also purchased a special-purpose vehicle to fight fires in high-rise buildings, with capacity to boost water up to 150 metres, which is approximately the 50th floor of a building with high-power pumps. While this vehicle will be put together by a local company in Pune, the pumps are being imported from Germany and are expected in May 2021.
A senior civic officer said, “After the lockdown, there was no progress for the first few months about these imports. We have been following up with the companies we are purchasing equipment from, and apart from the delay in delivery, everything else is going as per plan.”