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