The lackadaisical attitude of the Municipal Corporation towards the Fire and Emergency Services Wing is evident from the fact that the committee to discuss the issues related to the department has not held a meeting in the almost a year. Instead, the councillors and officials are indulging in a blame game over who is responsible for calling the meeting.
Two major fire incidents have taken place in the city over the past two months. In one incident, two firemen lost their lives after the building being occupied by NIELIT collapsed. Another took place on Thursday where the
building of Syndicate bank caught fire.
Despite this, no meeting has been held. In fact, the committee would now be re-constituted as the tenure of the committees constituted last year has now ended. The new committees are yet to be notified.
M P Kohli, who has been the chairman of the Fire and Emergency Services Committee two consecutive times said that it is the officials of the MC who do not let them call meetings. “Two fire incidents have taken place and there was a need for the committee to meet. However, the Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia has no time to call a meeting,” said Kohli.
Sunil Bhatia who is also the Chief Fire Officer, meanwhile, contended that it is the chairman of the committee who has to take initiative to call the meeting. He added that officials cannot stop councillors from holding meetings. As the tussle goes on, it is the decision making pertaining to the department that is suffering. One of the members of the committee Surinder Bahga said, “We had prepared a report on the problems in the different fire stations which has not been discussed even once.”
The Fire and Emergency Services Committee was more active in the previous tenure of the MC when mock drills were organised and frequent checks were held. All activity has come to a standstill. The situation is such that once NOC by fire department is issued, there are no checks that are conducted thereafter in the buildings.
In fact, the lack of seriousness of the MC in discussing the issues can be gauged from the fact that even when these came up in the meeting of the General House, the councillors only indulged in politicking instead of holding any concrete discussion.