Cidco ill-equipped to fight fire in high-rises

UN­SAFE RES­I­DENTS Its skylift can reach only up to eight storeys; Kharghar, New Pan­vel, Kalam­boli and Uran has only four fire sta­tions

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Sev­eral high-rises have come up in the ar­eas of City and In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Cidco) in the past few years.

How­ever, the town plan­ning agency is not well-equipped to fight fires in high-rises.

When fire broke out on the 15th floor at Giri­raj Apart­ments on Wed­nes­day, Cidco did not have a Bronto Skylift to douse the fire. The fire­men had to wait for al­most an hour for the Bronto Skylift to reach the spot from Vashi.

The height of the Skylift that Cidco has is only 32 me­tres and it can reach up to only the eighth floor of a build­ing. There­fore, they had to call for a 62-me­tre Skylift from Vashi.

Be­sides, Cidco does not have suf­fi­cient fire en­gines to cover all ar­eas of Kharghar, Kamothe, Kalam­boli, New Pan­vel and Ulwe. For cov­er­ing this huge area, they have four fire sta­tions at Kharghar, New Pan­vel, Kalam­boli and Uran with a to­tal of 132 fire­men and of­fi­cers.

Ac­cord­ing to sources from the fire depart­ment, each sta­tion has only one fire en­gine. Only Kharghar has one big wa­ter tank and the a 32-me­tre skylift.

“There are over 50 high-rises at Kharghar alone. More such build­ings are com­ing up in the other ar­eas too. If Cidco can spend crores of ru­pees in de­vel­op­ing other projects, why can’t it pur­chase fire-fight­ing equip­ment for the safety of res­i­dents,” said Son­ali Saha, 39, a res­i­dent of Kharghar, Sec­tor 11.

Gurvin­der Singh, 61, a res­i­dent of Kamothe, blamed Cidco for the fire break-outs. “Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) has pro­vided the re­quired equip­ment at its fire sta­tions. What has Cidco been wait­ing for? It should not have al­lowed high-rises to come up un­less they have fire-fight­ing sys­tems for such build­ings,” Singh said.

Praveen Bodke, ad­min­is­tra­tor of Cidco fire depart­ment, ad­mit­ted that they were ill-equipped. “It is true that we don’t have a skylift for high-rises. We will pur­chase a 55-me­tre and a 70-me­tre skylift. We will get them within a few months,” said Bodke.

“We are plan­ning to de­velop a fire sta­tion at Ulwe and it is likely to be op­er­a­tional by March-end. We have de­cided to pur­chase six more fire en­gines and ev­ery sta­tion will get two en­gines. We hired 60 fire­men a few months ago and we have suf­fi­cient man­power,” he added.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

When fire broke out on the 15th floor at Giri­raj Apart­ments on Wed­nes­day, Cidco did not have a Bronto Skylift to douse the fire.

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