A year on, Mumbai still waiting for fire-fighting bikes

Dec 07, 2018, 13:20 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

BMC to again float tenders for modified bikes after the one last year was rejected

A year on, Mumbai still waiting for fire-fighting bikes
Representational picture

Tired of battling the city's narrow lanes and bylanes, the Mumbai Fire Brigade had, last year, planned to procure motorcycles that could carry 40 litres of water and other fire-fighting equipment.

But, the process was stalled then as it is at loggerheads with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which had rejected the idea, as only one bidder had come forward. The Fire Brigade now wants to reopen the tenders.

The Royal Enfield Himalayan bikes were to have fitted on them a 40- litre water tank along with an integrated fire- fighting pump, a 30- metre hose reel, GPS, light and other basic fire- fighting equipment.

Need for the bikes In the past decade, over 600 people have died in fires in Mumbai. Many of these lives could have been saved if the Fire Department had procured fire- fighting bikes like Kerala and Karnataka. Many of these fires occur in places with limited accessibility that hinders the rescue process.

'Same bidders will apply' This month, the Fire Department will again float the tender for five bikes on a trial basis, though the requirement is for 20 bikes. However, the department is worried about the lack of bidders.

"For such a modified bike, we need specific equipment. The bikes are made by one or two manufacturers in the country. So, the bidders have to be on the waiting list and will be fined for any delays on their part. It becomes tough to get bidders because of all these complications," said a senior officer from the Fire Department.

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