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South Gurugram far from fire safety

October 11, 2018 06:11 AM


Kartik Kumar ■ ■
South Gurugram far from fire safety
Fire tenders take thrice as much time to reach Sectors 58­71 as mandated by national safety body
GURUGRAM: Around 2am Monday, it took firefighters about 15 minutes to reach Tulip Orange condominium in Sector 69, where a fire broke out killing a

33-year-old woman, read a statement released by the fire department on Tuesday.

As recommended in the guidelines by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), five minutes is the maximum response time in case of a blaze—one-third of the actual time taken on Monday. However, adhering with the NDMA guidelines is something the Haryana Fire Service cannot pull off in case of a fire in south Gurugram.

With all fire stations being centered either in Old Gurugram or next to the Delhi border, a large part of south Gurugram, including Sector 69, does not have any fire stations in its vicinity, leaving the area devoid of quick response in the event of a fire.

Haryana Fire Service has fire stations at four locations in Gurugram–sector 29, Bhim Nagar, Udyog Vihar and Sector

37. Two fire stations— at DLF Phase 5 and Cyber City—are run by the DLF fire service, a private body.

With the services concentrated in northern part of the city, the new and developing sectors in the district are left virtually uncovered by the fire department. In many areas of Gurugram, especially the southern sectors, it takes the fire department 10 to 15 minutes to reach the spot, almost three times the response time recommended by the NDMA.

Sectors 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 67, 68, 70 and 71 are some of the areas fire department officials concede are difficult to reach in under 10 minutes even during non-peak hours.

In accordance with the guidelines of the NDMA, the norms laid down by the Standing Fire Advisory Committee (SFAC), “Fire stations should be so equipped and manned that for all high hazards and closely built up areas, response time of a maximum of 3 minutes should be aimed at and for all other areas, the response time should not exceed five minutes.”

“If fire stations cannot be built at suitable location as per the above norm then each fire station should have required number of suitably equipped fire posts, which can respond in a timely manner,” the guidelines further reads.

However, as per fire department officials, they have been working towards improving their response time and have asked civic authorities to identify vacant plots in the southern parts of the city where new fire stations can be constructed, allowing the fire department to comprehensively cover all ends of the city and reduce their response time.

“The fire department acknowledges that there is a

lapse in regard to adequate number of fire stations in southern parts of the city and, hence, communicated the need to construct fire stations in these parts via the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) two months ago. In the letter, we have asked HSVP

to transfer some of their vacant plots, measuring one acre, in the city where new fire stations can be potentially constructed,” assistant divisional fire safety officer IS Kashyap said.

In Gurugram, the fire department comes under the ambit of the MCG.

When asked if the HSVP had

received the fire department’s request, HSVP administrator Chandra Shekhar Khare said, “I don’t have first-hand knowledge of the issue (receipt and status of the application).”

Kashyap, however, said that the fire department and HSVP, formerly Huda, have already identified a plot near Shalom Hills International School in Sector 43 as a possible site for constructing a new fire station.

Aside from the four fire stations, Kashyap said that there is a fire station under construction at Hailey Mandi, which is expected to become operational by next year. As a temporary measure in case of an emergency, a fire tender has been placed there.

While the Haryana Fire Service has one fire station each in Sohna and Manesar, these are at greater distance from the southern parts of the city than some of the fire stations located within Gurugram, fire department officials said.

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