Pune Municipal has found the fire brigade was wanting in two rescue efforts at Shindewadi and Sangavi in recent days. The civic body has now decided to establish four fire stations at the outskirts of the city. Sources say the proposal has been approved by the corporation’s administration.
Some time ago, PMC officials conducted a meeting regarding the disaster management system of the city. Rajendra Jagtap, deputy commissioner of the civic body, mooted the proposal of instituting four fire stations in different parts of the city. “Considering rapid development at the outskirts four bases will be established in various zones. Equipment will be distributed. Currently, the fire brigade takes a long while to reach the suburbs because existing stations are located inside the city,” said Jagtap.
He also confirmed that an order has been issued to identify plots for the new facilities. RT Shinde, in-charge of the civic land and estate department in PMC, said, “Fire brigade had demanded the spaces allocated to the now-redundant octroi booths, but a transport hub has been proposed on that land.”
“According to central government norms, an acre of land will be allotted for each station,” said chief fire officer Prashant Ranapise.
Interestingly, at the moment only the main fire brigade office at Lohiya Nagar has an acre of land. The other 10 stations in the city are set up on more modest spaces. So all the equipment is kept in the main station.
Last week, a pregnant Baidabai Mukne got stuck in floodwaters for several hours after water was released from the dam at Sangavi. Her husband informed the fire brigade at 8.15 pm, which took nearly four hours to reach the spot. The hubby, Maruti Mukne, took the plunge and brought his wife to safety.
In the Shindewadi incident, where water gushing down a hill near Katraj tunnel swept away a mother and her one-and-a-half-year child, the fire brigade arrived at the location about two hours later.
Need more men
The four proposed bases would necessitate an addition of 120 employees (30 for each station) to the fire brigade’s staff. Chief fire officer Prashant Ranapise said that the requirement has been submitted to the PMC authority. After getting permission, the civic body will start the recruitment procedure.