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10 new fire stations to come up across Bengal by end of 2018

KOLKATA: In a stride towards boosting the firefighting infrastructure in the state, the Fire & Emergency department will set up 10 new fire stations across the state by this year.
Madhyamgram and Lalkuthi (Barrackpore) in North 24-Parganas, Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas, Contai in East Midnapore and Dankuni in Hooghly are some of the places which will have a full fledged fire station by the end of this year.
It may be mentioned that in 23 districts of the state, there are 131 fire stations. "Our focus will be not only be on setting up new fire stations but also at upgrading the infrastructure of the existing fire stations," state Fire and Emergency minister Sovan Chatterjee said.
According to a senior official of the Fire department, modern equipment for firefighting is being procured for giving the desired infrastructure boost at the existing fire stations.
It may be mentioned that the government has prepared a road map for setting up as many as 73 new fire stations across the state with an amount of around Rs 40 crore. The department has already procured Rs 30 crore for this purpose. "We will take up the work in phases," a senior official of the department said. The land for setting up 38 such fire stations has already been earmarked. The state government has also allocated Rs 3.47 crore for repairing fire stations which are old and is in need of renovation.
It is learnt that the Fire department has already got the nod of the state Cabinet to recruit as many as 3,000 people in the form of Fire Operators (FO) and Auxiliary Fire Operators (AFO). 1,500 FOs and the same number of AFOs will be recruited in the department through proper procedure and the process is expected to be completed by June 2018.
Shortage of manpower in the department has been an area of concern for the Fire department for a long time. The department presently has a vacancy of 5,118.

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