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KARACHI: Caretaker Sindh government is fully committed to support the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in strengthening fire fighting systems to save its numerous high-rise commercial and residential buildings from the fire emergency.

Caretaker Local Government Minister Muhammad Mubeen Jumani expressed this commitment in his remarks at the 13th Annual Fire Safety and Security Convention and Awards-2023, organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH).

He conceded that the operational capacity of Karachi’s Fire Department should be improved to make it capable of handling major fire emergencies in the megacity.

He said the interim provincial government stood fully committed to safeguarding the precious lives and belongings of the people in Karachi.

He said the interim provincial government would support the KMC in building more fire stations and providing the latest fire fighting, safety, and rescue gear to personnel of Karachi’s fire brigade.

He said the Sindh Building Control Authority and other relevant civic agencies should discharge their responsibilities of inspecting new high-rise buildings for the availability of the necessary fire safety arrangements as per the law.

Jumani hoped that deliberations and recommendations of the Fire Safety Convention would encourage the industrialists and businessmen to adopt the necessary fire protection measures at their offices, businesses, and industries.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh said that owing to the efforts of the KCCI each of the seven industrial zones in the city had a dedicated fire station with two fire tenders provided by the federal government to deal with any fire emergency at any factory without loss of precious time.

He; however, conceded that much had to be done by the industries in the city to beef up their individual fire protection measures with strict adoption of the safety laws.

He emphasised that thousands of multi-storey residential and commercial buildings in the city should strictly adopt fire safety measures.

Consul General of Oman in Karachi, Sami Abdullah Salim Al Khanjari, hoped that events like the Fire Safety Convention would go a long in promoting the culture of fire safety in residential and office buildings in the city.

He noted that dangerously dangling wires of electricity and TV cable service in almost all parts of Karachi pose a serious safety risk to people and the relevant civic agencies should immediately take care of this issue.

He informed the audience about strict compliance with fire safety codes while constructing commercial and residential buildings in Oman. He said the latest technology was used in Oman for swift adoption of the safety measures including electricity shutdown for dealing with any fire emergency.

President of the Fire Protection Industry of Pakistan, Dr Imran Taj, emphasised that every industrial unit should undergo annual inspections to check the validity of its fire safety measures.

He underlined the need for strict compliance with the Fire Safety Provisions-2016 of the Building Code of Pakistan while constricting residential and commercial buildings in the cities for the safety of their occupants.

CEO of Sindh Integrated Emergency & Health Services (SIEHS), Brig Tariq Qadir Lakhiar (retired), said the Sindh government had succeeded in curtailing the response time for dispatching fire fighters, ambulances, and first fighters to any troubled spot in the cities after the launch of SIEHS that work with Fire Department of KMC.

He said the volunteers and emergency responders belonging to SIEHS had so far provided their essential rescue and relief services with impeccable integrity as despite their involvement in providing first-aid to over 1.5 million victims of highway accidents, there hadn’t been a single complaint against them regarding the theft of the valuables of the passengers in distress.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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