Millennium Post

Firemen blame congested lanes and ignorance for increasing fire accidents

The congested lanes and residents ignorance are reasons behind Delhi’s increasing fire accidents, Delhi Fire Services (DFS) say.

The officials say, the fire service calls have gone up to 22,441 in 2012, which is 250 calls more than that of 2011 (22,186). The number of deaths in 2012 is 452.

According to the firemen, more calls are received especially in north and east Delhi, where there is an influx of population.

‘The narrow lanes, congestion, as well as joined houses, make it difficult for the fire engines to reach the spot,’ said A K Sharma, director, Fire Services, New Delhi.

Millennium Post surveyed a few localities in city.

In the lanes of north and central Delhi, such as Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Paharganj, Shahdara, Kamla Nagar and Sabzi Mandi, Mori Gate, electric wires are haning loose, without proper maintenance – inside and outside the houses.

It is the same scenario in east Delhi. In Laxmi Nagar, Anand Vihar, Nirman Vihar and Preet Vihar, which are heavily congested, are the more danger prone areas, with narrow lanes, and extreme population.

‘Short circuit, especially during monsoon, is the major reason of the 60-70 calls per day, among which the maximum calls come from the areas of east and north Delhi. We receive calls mainly from Sadar bazar, Karol Bagh and Laxmi Nagar,’ said Sharma.

‘The lanes of in our colony are too narrow for the fire engines to reach the spot, though there is a fire station situated nearby,’ admitted Ashis Jain, a resident of Laxmi Nagar.

‘The cars are parked haphazardly in these lanes. The two–wheelers and cyclerickshaw pullers weave in and out, adding to the choas,’ said another resident of the area.

‘The councillors seem unbothered about these even in areas like Chandni Chowk, Mori Gate and Kashmere Gate,’ Rajiv Singh, a resident of north Delhi said.

When Millennium Post contacted the councillors of north and east Delhi, the calls went unanswered.

According to the DFS officials, ‘To avoid almost 100 calls per day, we have installed wireless control rooms, with additional fire posts apart from the 54 stations, which are available,’ said Sharma. ‘Employees in bikes and cars are also available, in many areas like malls and markets,’ he added.

‘The government should do something immediately as lives of many are at risk. The officers should especially take a look at the electric wires that have been put up recklessly,’ said Yogesh Sharma, a resident of Kashmere Gate.
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