Tribune News Service
Solan, April 4
Absence of dedicated water pipe lines and non-functional hydrants have reduced the efficiency of fire-fighting operations in Solan town.
Some laxities had come to light recently when non-availability of water delayed fire-fighting operations at a chemist shop near Children’s Park. The refilling of water from Chambaghat and city police station delayed fire-fighting operations and the department drew flak from the residents.
“In a bid to identify the shortcoming the Home Guards Department, which oversees fire-fighting operations, conducted an audit of the available resources where shortage of dedicated water tankers and absence of fire hydrants at places emerged as the key areas of concern,” informed Commandant, Home Guards, Dr Shiv Kumar Sharma.
Out of the 26 fire hydrants, four were found non-functional at Old DC office and Sunny Side. In a bid to ramp up the facilities, the municipal corporation (MC) officials have been asked to ensure round-the-clock water availability from a dedicated pipeline in the town.
“Despite writing to the MC authorities several times to provide water tankers at key places for efficient fire-fighting there has been no response,” added Sharma.
The proposal has been taken up afresh. Besides, several measures have been mooted to improve the fire-fighting mechanism. All traders and mall owners should install key equipment like fire ball, fire extinguisher which should be duly examined by the station fire officer.
“Though water harvesting facility is available in all government buildings, in the absence of proper maintenance, this water finds little use. This can be used for fire exigencies. It should also be ensured that pipe lines connected to hydrants are not used to give individual water connections,” he said.
“It was surprising to note that there was no hydrant at the outlet of 40,000 litre water tank located near the MC office. A fire hydrant should be provided here for apt use of the water for fire-fighting,” pointed out Sharma.
Other suggestions like constructing water tanks of one lakh litre at key places in the town like Children’s Park, Jawahar Park, old jail premises, near old bus stand, Mohan Park and at Chambaghat were also recommended to ensure adequate water availability.
Since several rural areas have been merged in the Solan MC, a survey of the new areas should also be undertaken by the civic body officials to install hydrants and water tanks for effective fire-fighting operations in the future.