There is only one firefighter for 12,727 properties to handle any disaster
Nagpur: The State Government’s move to stall all new recruitments has hit the NMC’s Fire Brigade as there are only 55 firefighters to deal with 7 lakh properties in the Second Capital City of Nagpur. In simple terms, there is only one firefighter for 12,727 properties.
The 7 lakh in Nagpur include individual buildings, apartments and commercial establishments. NMC’s Fire and Emergency Services Department said that in May 2020, when the country was in the grip of Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra Government had stalled all recruitments except in health and police departments. The Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B approached the State’s Urban Development Department in Mumbai to allow recruitment for the vacant posts of firefighters in the civic body’s Fire and Emergency Services Department.
The Fire Department has sought permission to fill up 285 vacant posts of firemen. At present the city has only nine Fire Stations with 55 firefighters. According to sources, the Fire Department has sanctioned posts of 872 personnel. Of them, only 174 posts are filled. With nine Fire Stations in the city, the Department needs at least 611 personnel for the firefighting force.
The NMC’s Fire Department attends calls for other emergency situations such as natural disasters, drowning, building collapses, cleaning of wells apart from fire tragedies. Being the biggest Fire Department in the region, the NMC’s Fire and Emergency Services Department is frequently directed to rush outside the city limits to control fires in industrial areas in Butibori and MIDC Hingna despite both the industrial areas having their own separate fire stations. Even the Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), whose area is expanding rapidly, is not equipped with its own firefighting force and depends on NMC’s Fire Brigade to deal with any emergencies.