Friday, February 26, 2010

Bangalore is short of fire stations

Bangalore is short of fire stations

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore

The closest fire station that can cater to the Bengaluru International airport is in Hebbal, nearly 30km away. This is not all. The fire and emergency department had proposed to the state government last year to set up eight fire stations in various parts of the city, including at Electronics City, ITPL, Banashankari, Kanakapura Road, Sarjapur, Hulimavu, Yelahanka and Devanahalli.
However, work has begun only on setting up stations at Sarjapur and Hulimavu, while plans for other areas have run into land acquisition hurdles. "We require at least one acre to set up a fire station. The total cost would amount to Rs3 crore. Lands have been identified, but they are embroiled in litigations," deputy director (technical), fire and emergency services, BK Hamppagol, said.
He said that going by international standards, there should be one fire station for every 50,000 population. But the city has only 12 fire stations. They are located at High Grounds, Mysore Road, Mayo Hall, Padmanabhanagar, Yeshwantpur, Banaswadi, Whitefield, Peenya industrial town, Bangalore dairy, Hebbal, Cooke Town and Byappanahalli.
Each station has a 50,000-litre underground water storage capacity, while a fire tender can store anywhere between 4,500 litres and 16,000 litres, depending on their capacity. In cases where more water is needed, either additional vehicles would be pooled in, or water would be drawn from BWSSB pipelines, bore wells and open tanks.
The city currently has 40 vehicles. If more vehicles are procured, there will be parking issues. D Rasheed, deputy director (administration) of the fire department, said that in the case of Carlton Towers, people could have used the water from their water cans to control the fire until the fire personnel reached the spot


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