The state Fire and Emergency Services department has decided to set up 73 more fire stations across the state in the next one and a half year.
Sovan Chatterjee, the state Fire minister, said in the Assembly on Tuesday that at present, there are 127 fire stations. The figure will be taken up to 200.
At present, the work of constructing 18 new fire stations is going on and there are proposals to construct another 50. Land for 38 out of the 50 fire stations has already been identified and the work to set those up will be starting soon.
Five fire stations have been commissioned in the current financial year in Madhyamgram, Lalkuthi, Contai, Kakwip and Dankuni. Around Rs 40 crore was allotted and the state Finance department has already released Rs 30 crore for the projects. At the same time, Rs 3.74 crore was already spent for maintenance and repairing of old fire stations.
According to the state Fire and Emergency Services department, there were 10,476 incidents of fire in the state from January 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. It includes 61 incidents of major fire. The total extent of damage caused by the total number of fire incidents stands at Rs 72.87 crore.
Most of the incidents of major fire took place in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas. In between January 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 there were 28 incidents of major fire in Kolkata and in North 24 Parganas, there were 12 such incidents. There were six incidents of major fire each in Howrah and Burdwan.
It may be mentioned that the Fire departmenthas already started taking steps to recruit 3,000 more employees. It will increase the manpower by around 1,800. Moreover, 90 new fire tenders have been engaged to carry out fire fighting exercises besides taking other initiatives to modernise the entire fire-fighting mechanism.