Even as the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, witnessing a footfall of around 25,000 enthusiasts daily, enters third day, the organisers have a only few firemen posted to tackle any untoward incident. Alarmingly, they do not have a single fire extinguishers at the venue.
Is it enough? The water tanker at Ramanbaug New English School, the
fest venue. Pic/Vivek Sabnis
PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak said that they have deputed 12 firefighters and a water tanker at the venue in Ramanbaug New English School following a request from the organisers of the event. Fire officials say it is mandatory to install fire extinguishers at the pandal.
Prashant Ranpise, Chief Fire Officer, PMC, said that despite several reminders the organisers have not installed any fire extinguishers inside the padal. "We have asked them to install at least 40 fire extinguishers to avoid any kind of accident. These extinguishers can be purchased or taken on rent. It is wrong to solely depend on the fire brigade to tackle any accident," he added.
Sushama Kulkarni, who is learning classical music and visits the Sawai festival every year, also stressed on the requirement of fire equipment inside the pandal. "It is necessary to put up fire extinguishers at the back stage where artistes rehearse. Fortunately, there have been no mishaps, but one should always be prepared for the eventualities," she added.
Shrinivas Joshi, general secretary, the organising body of the festival, said, "We take every precaution to prevent fire accidents while erecting the pandal every year. Instructions were also given to Gokhale Mandavwale who had erected the pandal."
"There is, however, no harm in installing fire extinguishers and we shall put them up form next year," he added.