Maha cities, towns ill-equipped to fight fire

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­

MUM­BAI: The state is play­ing with fire as far as its ca­pa­bil­ity to fight ma­jor in­fer­nos is con­cerned, says a govern­ment re­port.

A re­port pre­pared by the Direc­torate of Ma­ha­rash­tra Fire Ser­vices — the state govern­ment’s of­fi­cial ad­viser on fire safety is­sues — states how more than one- third of the ur­ban and semi-ur­ban ar­eas in the state do not have ded­i­cated fire-fight­ing ser­vices.

De­spite Ma­ha­rash­tra’s rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing the most ur­banised of all states in the country, 106 cities and towns of the 350 in the state do not have a fire ser­vices wing, ac­cord­ing to the re­port tabled in the re­cently con­cluded bud­get ses­sion of the state leg­is­la­ture.

The bad news does not end there. The towns and cities that do have fire ser­vices wings are se­verely de­fi­cient in man­power, per­son­nel and equip­ment.

In ad­di­tion to th­ese glar­ing in­ad­e­qua­cies, a re­cent re­ply by the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs in Par­lia­ment shows the sit­u­a­tion is equally grim in ru­ral ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the MHA’s re­ply, Ma­ha­rash­tra comes in sec­ond in the list of states and Union ter­ri­to­ries with a short­age of fire-fight­ing equip­ment.

It re­quires 20,048 pieces of suitable equip­ment to fill the gap. CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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