What can a handicapped fire service do and at what speed in times of emergency needs no explanation even to a simpleton. But the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is hard pressed over this in case of the Sabarmati fire station.
Officials say they have so far failed to convince a local councillor about the need to shift the fire station to a spacious place.
Despite having a dilapidated building,the fire station at its present site was okay till the road widening work was carried out in front of it,leaving with just around 2,000 sq metres against some 2,500 sq metres earlier.
This gives no room for negotiating turns by fire engines that are supposed to move out in a hurry so that they can keep pace with the response time.
Now,the road widening has necessitated shifting it to other location to maintain its efficiency. Or else,it will be reduced to a sub-fire station,almost handicapped in tackling emergencies in vast areas of Chandkheda,Sabarmati,power station,Ranip and other areas.
Local Councillor Surendra Jeerawala,however,insists that the station must not be moved elsewhere,according to sources in the AMC. They say this is becoming sort of a prestige issue on which Jeerawala does not want to compromise.
Land at Acher depot was suggested as the alternative place for reasons of logistics,like it will be easier and faster to approach
areas such as Chandkheda GIDC,Gandhinagar highway,Kali and Ranip. But the suggestion has not been heeded to so far.
Jeerawala on his part said the fire station premises was reduced in the front,but there was plenty of space in the backyard and thus,there would not be problem in accommodating the staff.
He said the municipal commissioner had visited the place and the new building had got his approval. He went on to say that the civic body did not approve of the Acher plot,which was meant for a bus depot.
There is no issue of personal ego in this, he said,adding that the work of reconstruction would start within a week.
Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam said,More than any political pressure,we have gone by the strategic location of the existing fire station despite it being located in a congested place.
He ruled out any future expansion of this station.