mid day editorial: Time to take firefighting in the city seriously

Updated: Dec 11, 2018, 07:54 IST | mid-day online desk

Finding it immensely difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate Mumbai'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 firefighting equipment

The BMC is to once again float tenders for modified firefighting bikes after one tender last year was rejected. Finding it immensely difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate Mumbai'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 firefighting equipment.

The BMC had rejected the idea as only one bidder had come forward. The fire brigade though has not given up on the idea and wants to reopen tenders and give this yet another shot, a report in this paper stated.

The specialised firefighting bikes were to have fitted on them a 40-litre water tank along with an integrated firefighting pump, a 30-metre hose reel, GPS, light and other equipment.

Whatever the reason for scuttling the idea earlier, we hope that the fire department is able to procure firefighting bikes. The congested Mumbai lanes make it impossible for the fire brigade to access so many buildings so anything that gives our fire fighters access is welcome.

Mumbai needs all the ammo and inventiveness when it comes to firefighting. If the department believes its fighting capacity is enhanced by these bikes then they should get the bikes.

Blocked lanes, buildings with gates that are so small that a firefighting vehicle cannot pass, hawkers, haphazard parking, shops and hutments that encroach on open space, there are so many factors that make firefighting a nightmarish task.

We need to keep reinventing and sharpening our firefighting abilities. If these bikes are one component for this, then they must be procured without delay. Remove the hurdles, logjam and wrangles that are stymieing a vital part of our apparatus. If the firefighting department wants them and feels they are beneficial, then they should get them. It is as simple as that.

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