JK Fire Department runs on crutches
Srinagar, Aug 17: With increase in fire incidents, the Fire Department of Jammu and Kashmir is ill-equipped to handle fire incidents in the state.
There has been rising incidents of fire in the state. Every day, the fire incidents get reported across the state. The Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed 15 percent increase in fire incidents last year.
However, the Fire Department is facing shortage of manpower and is ill-equipped to deal with such incidents.
An official of the Department told KNS that the Fire Department has fire tenders of a very old quality. “Even these also get leaked at the times of emergency,” the official said.
He said the Department lacks large capacity fire tenders. “The existing fire services are ill-equipped to deal with fire emergencies. Many of these are deficient in basic infrastructure such as land, permanent building, drill towers, water sources, fire hydrants, fire tenders, specialised fire appliances,” the official said. “We also have shortage of manpower but the government seems unconcerned about it,” the official said.
The official said the government was not concerned despite increase in fire incidents. A lot of forest incidents were also reported in 2016. Official data reveals that 781 forest fire incidents were reported in the state in 2016. In Kashmir, the highest number of fires, 63, has been recorded from Lidder forest range in south Kashmir, followed by fires at Kamraz, 30, in north Kashmir and in the Langate area, 27, of the Kupwara district.
Official sources told KNS that the absence of fire safety law has made its watchdog department a toothless tiger.
“In absence of the Act, the J&K Fire and Emergency Services department- supposed to be the enforcement body- is not able to deliver when it comes to enforcing the fire safety guidelines for hotels, cinema halls, shopping complexes, multi-storey commercial establishments, etc.” they said.
Officials said that the absence of the Act makes it hard for the department to enforce their writ during construction of commercial as well as residential structures to maintain fire gaps and adopt other procedures in vague across the country. (KNS)