WITH THE UT Administration taking a U-turn on its decision of allowing sale of crackers anywhere in the city, the fire department has a tough task at hand. The department will have to keep a watch on more than 50 such places with just eight fire tenders.
While the department has 15 fire tenders, seven will be deployed at the fire stations.
Earlier, when it was decided to allow cracker sale at eight earmarked sites only, the fire department had planned to station one fire tender at each of the eight sites. One of the reasons for banning the sale of crackers everywhere in the city except the earmarked sites was the limited resources with the fire department.
Now the fire department has identified eight sites as sensitive where one fire station each will be placed. They have decided to station a fire tender at Dussehra Ground, Manimajra; Sector 26 near the grain market; near Nehru Park, Sector 22; Mandi Ground, Sector 43; Sector 25; Sadar Bazar of Sector 19, Hallomajra and at the internal market of Manimajra. These sites have been called sensitive zones as they are heavily crowded and the sale of crackers here is in abundance.
Making it tougher for the fire department, new licences to sell crackers have already been issued to over 200 people.
Asking how difficult it was for the fire department to cover a vast area, Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri said, “How does it matter even if we claim that we have less resources? The decision of permitting sale in the markets has already been taken. We have to keep one fire tender at each fire station as well to deal with any mishappening in the city. So we have identified these sensitive zones where eight tenders will be placed.”
The fire department has cancelled leave of all the firemen till Diwali. There are a total of 260 employees in the fire department.
Till last week, UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi stuck to his stand of not allowing the sale of crackers anywhere except the earmarked sites. However, due to political pressure, the decision was rolled back.