With the construction of an underground Metro station at Marol hitting the civic body’s long-pending plans of setting up a regional command centre, the MMRDA has put forward a proposal for acquiring the plot and undertaking the construction of the Centre at its own cost.
Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh, also in-charge of the fire department, said, “The proposed underground station is at the same spot as the current fire station at Marol Naka. As the Metro is a priority, the proposal will be taken up positively. We are also likely to finalise the agreement with MMRDA in the next two months.”
In case of a major fire, the deputy chief fire officer will mobilise the teams under his regional command centre from the nearby fire stations, rather than waiting for instructions from the chief fire officer and central control room – which is presently the norm. As per the proposed plan, the development authority will not only repair the existing dilapidated structure but also construct a regional command centre, fire engine parking bay, officers quarters building, staff quarters building and a workshop.
Even after a structural audit of 2012 proved that the current fire station and the staff quarters are in a dilapidated condition, the civic body has failed to take appropriate measures in the past two years. Firemen continue to work in the dilapidated structure, which proves dangerous for even commuters and pedestrians near the fire station. There are more than 80 families residing in the staff quarters. A senior fire official said, “We are in the process of evacuating the families and demolishing one part of the wing. As the development authority announced its plans of an underground station about eight months ago, the redevelopment process has come to a halt.”
To significantly cut the increasing response time, the fire department had proposed six command centres cutting across the length and the breadth of the city.