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Punjab government gives Rs 1 crore for fire safety gear

The move came a day after Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, expressed his concern over the poor state of the fire department while chairing a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2017 09:57 IST
Nikhil Sharma
Nikhil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Ludhiana factory collapse,Punjab,fire safety
The factory collapse in Ludhiana that resulted in 13 deaths has brought the focus back on firemen’s safety in Punjab. (HT File )

The Punjab government has released a grant of 1 crore for the purchase of fire safety suits for the 150 firemen in the state.

The move came a day after Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, expressed his concern over the poor state of the fire department while chairing a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“The Ludhiana factory disaster has left everyone disturbed, including the Punjab CM. He immediately called for releasing funds for the protection gears (uniforms) of firemen in the state. The sight of the firefighters using wet scarves and sacks really pained him,” said local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Monday’s Ludhiana fire disaster has sparked fear and anxiety amongst firemen across the state, who have to risk their lives without an insurance to support their families in case of any eventuality.

The Chief Minister has also asked Sidhu to send a proposal seeking an increase in their salaries besides an insurance cover. Talking to HT, Sidhu said, “We are also looking to upgrade the fire-tenders in the state besides bolstering the staff strength. I will soon be drafting the proposal, which will be passed by the CM as he is deeply concerned about the welfare of our firefighters”.

Sidhu claimed that more funds will be allocated to strengthen the fire directorate.

“The budget of the fire directorate will be enhanced from 2 crore to over 10 crore soon. The aim is to secure the precious lives of our firefighters. The Ludhiana incident has saddened me and our government will make all possible efforts to fully equip our fire department,” added Sidhu.

Taking a dig at the SAD-BJP government, Sidhu said the previous government had received a grant of 95 crore for revamping the fire department but they didn’t spend it. “We are also trying to bring that grant from the revenue department. The fire department was neglected the most during the tenure of the alliance government in Punjab,” added the minister.

The Monday’s Ludhiana fire disaster has sparked fear and anxiety amongst firemen across the state, who have to risk their lives without an insurance to support their families in case of any eventuality.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 12:35 IST