Fire-safety norms ignored in eight Maha cities: CAG report
The state government has withdrawn its proposed ‘no helmet, no fuel’ rule, after stiff opposition from petrol pump owners and owners of two-wheelers. The government, however, has put in a condition that makes it mandatory for petrol pump owners to collect details of riders who buy petrol without a helmet and pass it on to the local Regional Transport Office (RTO).
Based on the information provided by the petrol pump owners, RTO officials are expected to act against the violators. Petrol pump owners, however, have opposed this too and have suggested that the government install CCTV cameras on their premises and act against errant riders.
The ‘no helmet, no fuel’ rule was to come into effect from August 1, but the petrol pump owners had opposed it citing safety of their employees. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had on July 28 stayed the decision, after even the opposition parties had called the move ‘impractical’, in the state legislature.
Clearing the state’s stand on the policy, transport minister Diwakar Raote said on Friday that instead of refusing fuel to those not wearing helmets, petrol pumps will have to provide us the vehicle numbers of the violators.
“We won’t take any such responsibility that could become a flashpoint between our employees and the riders. Also, it will be difficult to subsequently prove violations based on our report and may lead to disputes,” said Ravi Shinde, president, Mumbai Petrol Dealers’ Association. “We have suggested that the government install CCTV cameras at their own cost and monitor feed from the RTO.”
In a stark reminder of how unsafe are our cities, a new Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report has revealed how fire safety norms are ignored in eight cities, including Mumbai, in Maharashtra. Other cities mentioned in the report are Thane, Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. The report states that between 2010 and 2015, 78% of the amount reserved for upgrading fire-fighting systems was unspent, resulting in a severe shortage of equipment and infrastructure.
In case of fire tenders, which play a crucial role during firefighting operations, the CAG noted that there was a 78% shortage The CAG report rapped the state government for refusing to learn from its mistakes, which led to the Mantralaya fire in 2012.
in the eight cities, severely affection the ability to tackle fires. The number of fire stations in the cities was also way below what is required.