Rs 1-cr robot failed in rescue ops, waste of taxpayers’ money
Corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee on Wednesday slammed the civic administration over the failure of the Rs 1-crore firefighting robot used in rescue operations after a fire broke out in Bandra’s MTNL building on Monday.
Calling the robot a waste of taxpayers’ money, the corporators have now demanded that the administration give a detailed explanation regarding the basis on which the robot was procured last year. During the firefighting operations, the robot was reportedly unable to go beyond the second floor, as it could not find a turn-radius.
Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator, said, “The robot could not even climb the stairs of the MTNL building and fire fighters had to waste their energy carrying it to the upper floors. If it is a remotecontrolled machine and has to be manually carried by fire fighters, then it defeats the whole purpose. This is a clear waste of public money.” In its defence, the administration said that the water flowing down the stairs made it difficult for the robot to climb the stairs.
The corporators also pointed out that the images produced by the robot were blurred, despite the BMC’s earlier claims that the robot would be able to provide clear images through heavy smoke.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the 10-storey building and spread up to the ninth floor. In total, 84 people took refuge on the building’s rooftop and were rescued by the fire brigade over a period of three hours.