Firefighting Preparations-IV

No equipment, trained staff to handle fires at PSPCL offices in Amritsar

There are over 20 installations of the power corporation in city, but, all are sans firefighting infra. Without equipment, need to train staff doesn’t arise!

No equipment, trained staff to handle fires at PSPCL offices in Amritsar

An unsafe narrow passage in the first-storey.

Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 23

Severe heatwave sweeping across North India is causing repeated fire incidents and the city is no exception. No day passes without reporting of a fire incident. Yet, in the backdrop of this scenario, PSPCL offices, especially dealing with the public, neither have firefighting equipment nor trained staff to handle fire accidents.

Files stacked in a hall of PSPCL office

There are over 20 installations, big or small, of the power corporation in the city. However, all of these are without firefighting equipment. Without equipment, the need to train the staff does not arise.

Harpinder Singh Walia, a resident of New Golden Avenue, said: “Fire tenders rushing down the roads with their sirens is a routine.” Even then, a visit to the offices of PSPCL revealed that they were least prepared to handle any kind of eventuality. Its office situated outside the Hall Gate is among the biggest. It has got a solitary gate that serves both as the entrance and exit points. There are some rooms that have files and other important documents stacked, and concrete railings on the first floor are unsafe and narrow. In case of an emergency, it could prove fatal. The premises has a road behind the building that could offer an emergency exit. Burnt marks are visible on the wall of a room which is a grim reminder to brace up.

Burnt marks on a wall of a room in the PSPCL office in Amritsar.

Similarly, PSPCL offices on the Sultanwind road, Chattiwind Gate, Mall Mandi and others do not possess fire-extinguishing paraphernalia.

Measures will be

taken to fill both men and material gaps. Foolproof arrangements are in place to check any fire breakout at the power grids, which are vulnerable to fire incidents. Advanced sprays such as foam besides conventional methods are in place to face any eventuality. —Balkrishan, Chief Engineer, PSPCL (Border Zone)

Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony, said: “The PSPCL office on the Sultanwind road does not have even basic fire extinguishers such as sand buckets. With the rise in fire incidents, the workload of the PSPCL increases manifold. The demand for power is at its highest and the equipment of the PSPCL is stretched to its limit. In this scenario, PSPCL offices must be equipped to check any eventuality. Citing the instance of safety measures initiated in the national capital, the Department of Delhi Fire Services announced to initiate fire audit in multi-storied buildings. Similar measures are required here as well to mitigate and even avoid fire incidents.

Balkrishan, Chief Engineer of the PSPCL (Border Zone), accepted that there was lack of fire-fighting equipment and trained staff to handle these in its offices serving the public. “Measures will be taken up to fill both men and material gaps,” he said.

Meanwhile, he categorically stated that foolproof arrangements were in place to check any fire breakout at its power grids, which are vulnerable to fire incidents. Advanced sprays such as foam besides conventional methods were in place to face any eventuality. The PSPCL has power grids here at Mall Mandi, Hall Gate, GT Road, Gheo Mandi, Sultanwind, Guru Nanak Dev University, OCM, Islamabad and Kot Mit Singh.

#pspcl

Tribune Shorts


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