Department seeks permission from the government to build 20 new fire stations and make joint inspections mandatory.
Bangalore: An incident on the outskirts of the city highlight the shortcomings of the Karnataka Fire Service. A plastic recycling unit burned down in the early hours of 13th February in Kumbalgodu. The fire brigade’s response time was delayed by 45 minutes.
According to a report , on Fire Hazard and Risk Analysis in Karnataka, the average response time in urban areas should be between seven to eight minutes and in rural areas around 20 minutes. The fire station from where the brigade came is situated 15 kilometres away in Nagarbhavi.
Fireman ,K.Surya said, “At 11:20 we got a call. We were near Nagarbhavi University, from there we came to the spot, we used around 8,000 to 9,000 litres of water to douse off the fire.”
When the CityCast asked Directorate General Fire Services, Shiva Kumar if the delay was due to less manpower, he said, “Most of the delay is caused due to traffic. We’ve written a letter to the state government to build 20 more fire stations. Right now we don’t let the lack of fire personnel affect our response time or performance. We are ready within a minute once we receive a call.”
While addressing the issue of fire in local warehouses, the Ddirector said that many of these godowns are on the outskirts of the city and do not have the required No Objection Certificate (NOC) to operate. The department has reportedly written another letter to the government to make ‘joint inspections’ mandatory to give a license to godowns.
A report by OP Bhagat, Ex-Chief Fire Advisor to the Government of India suggests that there should be one fire station every 10 square kilometres in India for rural and urban areas. However, right now Bangalore has only 25 fire stations against the requirement of 72.
Currently, the fire department has vacancies for 1,657 positions. The recruitment process for these positions is underway and will take another 9 nine months to fill the gap. The letters were written by the fire department to the Karnataka government still haven’t received any response.
The Fire department said they have organised several drills and drives for the citizens.