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Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 2:08 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 2:08 AM (IST)

Firefighting capacity not up to the mark

Small towns sans fire tenders

  • Fire tenders are not available at the Municipal Council, Phillaur. Meanwhile, towns of the region are dependent on big cities like Jalandhar and Ludhiana for firefighting services. Wheat and paddy crops were being harvested ina panicky atmosphere, as several crop fields had been destroyed in fire.

Ashok Kaura

Phagwara, November 8

Though Diwali was celebrated peacefully with fervour inPhagwara,Goraya, Phillaur, Nakodar,Noormahal,Banga,Apra,Bilga and other towns, without any untoward incident except around seven incidents of fire which broke at different places around Phagwara.

The arrangements of fire brigade were not sufficient in the area as many towns in the Doaba region have inadequate fire service. 

It has been learnt that the Municipal Committees of Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala have eight fire tenders, Hoshiarpur (two), Nawanshahr (one), Kapurthala (one), besides four fire tenders with the Municipal Corporation, Phagwara.

The municipal councils of 22 towns, including Phillaur, Goraya, Banga, Talwara, Mukerian, Tanda, Garrdhiwala, Bhogpur, Mahilpur, Sham Chaurasi, Garhshankar, Balachaur, Rahon, Noormahal, Sultanpur Lodhi, Dhilwan, Bholath, Begowal, Alawalpur, Adampur, Lohian and Shahkot, sans fire brigade service. 

MP Singh Goraya, a resident of Goraya said, “ During the festivals and harvesting seasons, they spent the days in fear.”

Another farmer, Surjit Singh of Bilga, said wheat and paddy crops were being harvested in a panicky atmosphere, as several crop fields had been destroyed in fire.

Fire tenders are not available at the Municipal Council, Phillaur.

Meanwhile, towns of the region are dependent on big cities like Jalandhar and Ludhiana for firefighting services.

An official of the Municipal Corporation, Phagwara, said though the Phagwara fire brigade had four fire tenders of 5,000 litres capacity, the shortage of firemen and drivers was creating problem.

“The Phagwara fire brigade has only one fireman in place of the required strength of 14 posts and three drivers for five posts, he added.

Employees of the Phagwara fire brigade said temporary arrangements were being made by appointing contractual employees.

“Phagwara fire brigade service is feeding several towns besides around two thousand villages.” More than 150 fire incidents had been reported this year so far.”

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