Follow safety norms, PMC tells govt offices
AS Reported By NitinPatil in Express India, Pune, May 9 2008
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. The fire brigade department of the Pune Municipal Corporation is looking at preventive measures in a bid to stave off fire disasters in the city. Springing into action after a Right to Information (RTI) application, the fire brigade authorities have started sending letters to the government offices in Pune to follow the fire safety norms, keep the necessary firefighting material ready to prevent mishaps and also conduct fire safety audits.
“The government offices include the Zilla Parishad office, Divisional Commissioner’s office, and PMC ward offices, among others, where the number of people, who come daily for work purposes, is high,” PMC chief fire officer Devendra Potphode told The Indian Express.
Vihar Durve, a civic activist had filed the RTI application in the first week of April, seeking information about the fire department’s pro-active role in preventing the fire accidents. Ironically, the fire brigade officials are yet to provide him RTI information, but have started asking the public offices to install the necessary material.
Durve said, “There are many government offices, schools, theatres, where there is a lack of fire-tending machinery. We brought to the notice of the fire brigade that the Nana Wada, where all the PMC records are kept, too, is not in good condition as far as the maintenance of fire safety standards is concerned.”
The fire brigade chief said, “From last week, we started writing to the government offices based in the city, to ensure that they have the required fire safety equipment at their offices. We started with the PMC ward offices, followed by the divisional commissionerate, Z P office and the government printing press as these offices are very sensitive and have a lot of floating population, as people keep visiting these offices throughout the day.”
“Even though many of these offices do have the required fire safety equipment, they do not remain in a good condition due to negligence. Besides, people are not aware of using this material,” he said.
Vasudeo Ekbote, a senior radio technician of the fire brigade, said, “All the commercial complexes have to procure a no-objection-certificate (NOC) from the fire brigade, and hence they have to keep the necessary fire tending equipment. However, we cannot compel the government offices over the issue, but can just suggest them what can be done. Some of these offices have even written back to us showing willingness to do so.”
The fire brigade is also planning to visit the city schools once they open after summer vacations next month and also conduct campaigns.