Gurdaspur DC acts tough, orders probe by SDM into repeated fire incidents : The Tribune India

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Gurdaspur DC acts tough, orders probe by SDM into repeated fire incidents

Told to submit report in 7 days | AAP halqa in-charge seeks inquiry into recruitment of firemen

Gurdaspur DC acts tough, orders probe by SDM into repeated fire incidents

Traders hand over a memorandum to DC Vishesh Sarangal in Gurdaspur on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, June 12

Vishesh Sarangal, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Gurdaspur, has come down heavily on repeated fire incidents in the city. He has also ordered SDM Karamjit Singh to probe the recruitment of firemen in the municipal committee.

Firemen reportedly made a hash of things on Sunday night when half a dozen shops and showrooms were gutted near the busy Hanuman Chowk, right in the heart of the city. Goods worth crores were destroyed in the fire, the cause of which was stated to be an electrical short-circuit. The DC has given the SDM seven days to submit his report.

Residents are irked at the manner in which the fire brigade operates. Its laxity in dousing flames is one of the reason why such heavy damage is inflicted on the life and property whenever a fire incident is reported.

During the last six months, there have been several incidents wherein shops and commercial establishments have been gutted.

The location of the fire brigade in one of the busiest parts of the city has also come under the scanner. Whenever a fire incident occurs, fire engines find it difficult to reach the site because of the narrow streets and alleys they have to pass through. A section of residents say it is high time that the DC reacts and shift the fire brigade office to the city outskirts, preferably near the new bus stand, from where fire tenders can drive without any hindrance to the spot where a fire is reported.

SDM Karamjit Singh has already started a probe in this connection. The findings of the inquiry are being eagerly awaited by residents as they claim that they are fed up with the “utterly negligent attitude of officials leading to loss of property and at times even lives” in fire incidents.

Meanwhile, senior AAP leader Raman Bahl, who is also halqa in-charge of Gurdaspur city, led a delegation of shopkeepers to the DC office to demand a probe in this connection.

“The DC has agreed to hold a comprehensive inquiry. I have requested the DC to particularly inquire into the manner in which firemen have been recruited. I have learnt that a majority of firemen neither have any qualification in fire-fighting nor are they skilled enough to handle even a small fire leave alone a large one. This is a sensitive matter. The entire city is awaiting the report because of the fact that during the last six months whenever there has been a fire, heavy losses are reported,” said Bahl.

He claimed that firemen had been outsourced from a contractor who had close links with the brother of a Congress politician. “The DC will hold an investigation into how these firemen have been recruited. The entire department needs a revamp. In fact, the office of the department also has to be shifted to a place from where it’s easy for fire tenders to reach the spot where fire is reported,” said Bahl.

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