Thursday, March 30

West Bengal proposes fire station at Burrabazar

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Alarmed by repeated blazes at Burrabazar, where fire engines from north and central Kolkata fire stations struggle to manoeuvre through the narrow and overcrowded alleys of the market to reach the spots, the state has proposed to set up a station at the trade hub itself, to cut down on reaction time.

“Burrabazar has experienced quite a few incidents of fire in the last few years but the market hub doesn’t have a dedicated fire station. We propose to set up a new fire station at Burrabazar,” said Firhad Hakim, during his first visit to the fire services headquarters on Mirza Ghalib Street as the new fire minister.

Elaborating on the proposal, fire officials said that a plot belonging to Kolkata Port Trust had been identified and preliminary discussions held. “We have selected a strategically suitable location beside the North Port police station,” said Jag Mohan, director general of fire services. “Now, fire stations at Central Avenue and Lalbazar are the first ones to react to a blaze at the trade hub. But both are a bit far. The new fire station will help us reach Burrabazar quickly.”

The fire minister added the department would instruct all commercial complexes and malls to make it mandatory to have a fire drill every three months. Fire officials said photographic and videographic proof of such drills had to be kept by the mall and building authorities, who would have to submit them during fire audit and renewal of fire licences. “The fire audit will be conducted every year. If they fail the check, their licence won’t be renewed,” said Hakim.

The minister added they had decided to de-link fire and trade licences. “The licencees will have to stick to separate norms to get the two licences,” he said.

Source: Times of India

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