Purchase of equipment for tackling disaster by any civic body is logical, but duplicating the purchase not only renders theequipment useless but can also be termed as sheer wasteof money. The above-mentioned case seems to fit perfectly with the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) latest purchase. It has been learnt that despite having 529 disaster management (DM) equipment at the fire brigade storeroom, the PMC went ahead and purchased yet another 805 items at a cost Rs 3 crore.
Requesting anonymity, a fire brigade official said, “We already have 127 delivery hose pipes (DHP), but the Disaster Management Cell (DMC) unnecessarily purchased another 400. They did it without consulting us. In all, there are 20 such items gathering dust in the storeroom and lying in the open at the fire brigade headquarters in Ghorpade Peth. While some of the unwanted DHPs were purchased last, some were purchased this year.” A source in the fire brigade said officials from the DMC do not consult any of the fire brigade officials before floating tenders for purchasing DM equipment.
“The valuable equipments is just lying around and hasn’t been used for the last two months. The purchase was a total waste of money is going a total waste. The equipment was purchased in the wake of fire incident at Mantralaya,” said source. When the correspondent visited fire brigade headquarters in Ghorpade Peth, he witnessed that the equipment was kept in the open and had gathered dust. Some of the equipment spotted were: iron pumps, portable hydrologic diamond chain saws, water mist foam guns and double delivery high pressure pumps.
The Other Side
Refuting allegations, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Disaster Management) Pravin Ashtikar said, “It is wrong to say the equipment has become a white elephant. I think all those who levelled allegations against us have no technical knowledge for any of the equipment. We might need any of it at any point of time. To avoid duplication, we have now stopped purchasing new equipment.”