Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, December 9
The fire incident in Delhi, which claimed 43 lives, has raised the question whether the congested and densely populated area of walled city with narrow streets are ready to deal with such kind of incidents. The November 23 fire incident in the fruit market outside the old sabzi mandi in which 29 shops were gutted is still fresh in the minds of city residents.
A reality check revealed that most of the commercial establishments in the city are not complying with fire safety measures. A majority of these lack fire extinguishers.
Sources in the fire wing of the MC said except for a few multiplexes, hospitals and commercial establishments, most of the buildings have not obtained an NOC from the department.
“The truth is that the fire wing has no teeth as it cannot check violations. Its sole purpose is to send fire tenders to a place where a fire breaks out,” said an official.
Lack of water hoses at public places to fill water tanks of fire vehicles is another problem, which could cost dear. In a fire incident in Tokrian “There are practical problems. Streets in the walled city are narrow and vehicles can be seen parked along the roads. In such a situation, fire tenders cannot even enter the area,” said Sukhi Ram of Dhab Wasti Ram. He added that after every fire incident, people demand for small fire safety vehicles that can enter these streets.
Meanwhile, Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu held a meeting with officials of the fire wing. He asked them to check and ask all schools, colleges, coaching institutes, banks, hospitals, hotels, factories and other commercial establishments to make necessary fire safety arrangements.
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