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Bilwani expresses concern over ill-equipped fire stations

The Sindh government has paid no heed to the suggestion of Site Association of Industry (SAI) to establish an autonomous body to control and run fire stations throughout the city in accordance with the international standards.

In a letter to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, SAI Chairman Jawed Bilwani had proposed establishment of an independent authority so that prompt and immediate remedial measures were taken to revamp fire stations in the city.

Talking to Business Recorder on Thursday, Bilwani said it was unfortunate that the letter was not given due consideration.

He said that incidents of fire were rising in the industrial areas and with ill-equipped facilities the fire fighters were unable to prevent fire from causing huge damages. He said that since the fire incident at Baldia Town, the foreign buyers had made compliance requirements stricter, which was causing great difficulties to Pakistani export industries to compete in the world market.

Bilwani said that there were only four fire tenders and one water bowser, although minimum requirement was 5 to 8 fire tenders in Site area alone. Out of these four fire tenders, only one was in working condition, he added. There were only three snorkels for the entire city and that too with limited heights of 100 to 150 feet, while there was no snorkel in site fire station, he said.

He further said that foam was most important for fire fighting specially in case of fire in chemical and plastic manufacturing plants, but it was unfortunate that site fire station did not have a foam generator.

Bilwani also noted that the fire stations staff did not come on duty and it was learned that they were busy doing other private jobs or serving the bureaucrats and political leaders.

He said that although the fire station staffs were provided accommodation but it had been observed that only 70 percent stayed in these residences while 30 percent of the houses were occupied by irrelevant persons.

He further pointed out that the overhead tank of 50,000 gallons was lying in a broken condition.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015