Lack of communication between civic departments has come to the fore with public money at stake, as even after 28 water pumps purchased last year for the fire brigade are rotting in the store room, the electrical department of Pune Municipal Corporation has made fresh requisition for pumps for fire brigade and a tender is also being floated. When contacted, the chief fire officer claimed there was no necessity for the equipment, but the electricity department maintains that the tender worth Rs 5 lakh was put forward only after a requisition was made by the fire brigade.
Last year PMC had spent two and half crore rupees for procuring 28 water pumps. Shriniwas Kandul, executive engineer of electrical department said, “We received demand from the disaster management department and that is why we have floated the fresh tender. They have asked for five water pumps for the fire brigade vehicles.” On the other hand, deputy commissioner Pravin Ashtikar, who is in-charge of the disaster management and fire brigade, told MiD DAY that there is no such exigency for these equipment.
“There are already dozens of pumps that are not getting utilised. There is no need for additional pumps,” said a senior official of the fire brigade department. There are 1,896 water hydrants in the city. But these connections do not have continuous flow of water, so in emergency situations it is not possible to access enough water from these links.
Speaking to MiD DAY, VG Kulkarni, head of PMC’s water department said, “We are not providing water for these connections. That’s because taps should be kept on 24 hours, which is not possible with the current water cut. Another problem is if we provide supply to these hydrants, people near them would illegally tap them.”
“Pumps can be used to take water from the other sources in emergency situations. Recently, we pumped water from the canals. Many new constructions are making provisions for water reservoirs, which can be utilised. We have enough water pumps for the fire brigade vehicles. I don’t know about this tender, which has been floated,” said Prashant Ranpise, chief fire officer.