Millennium Post

Indicate steps taken to fill vacancies in fire dept: HC to AAP govt

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the AAP government to indicate steps it has taken to fill the vacancies in the fire department, which according to a plea, is facing a "manpower crunch" due to more than 1,500 vacancies.

The Delhi Fire Services told the court that it has recruited 500 people as fire operators and an equal number have been employed on contract basis.

Apart from that, it has sent a requisition to the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) to initiate recruitment of an additional 706 personnel, the fire department told a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.

The court, thereafter, asked the fire department to file an affidavit indicating the steps taken and listed the matter for further hearing on October 15.

The bench was hearing the plea by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, represented by its chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy, which has contended that despite the lapse of 21 years since the tragic incident that claimed 59 lives, fire safety arrangements in the national capital have not improved. On June 13, 1997, during the screening of Bollywood film "Border" at the Uphaar theatre in south Delhi, 59 people, including women and children, had died of suffocation as they were trapped inside the auditorium when it got filled with smoke after a nearby transformer caught fire that spread to the cars parked close to the building.

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