The Punjab government on Monday informed the Assembly that it will soon hire 991 firemen and 326 drivers and said there is also a proposal to set up a state-level training institute in Mohali to impart training to fire staff.
Local government minister Inderbir Singh Nijjar was replying to a calling attention notice on inadequate staff and equipment in fire stations in the state.
The calling attention notice was moved by AAP MLA Narinder Kaur Bharaj on the concluding day of the Punjab Assembly session here.
Nijjar said there are 69 fire stations in the state, 1,042 firemen and 359 drivers.
He said there is a proposal to hire 991 firemen and 326 drivers on a regular basis and a requisition in this regard will be sent to the service selection board.
He further informed that there is also a proposal to set up a state-level training institute at Lalru in Mohali for providing training to firemen.
“The land has been identified for this purpose at Lalru,” he said.
Niijar said there are 315 fire vehicles in the state and of which 72 were bought this year only.
He further informed that the department had supplied new hydraulic combi-tools, fire proximity suits and fire entry suits for upgradation of fire services.
After MLA Bharaj pointed out that there were some municipal committees who could not pay salaries to the fire staff because of the shortage of funds, Nijjar said the government will consider setting up a fund for the payment of salaries.
Akali MLA Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi sought to draw attention towards the increasing incidents of stray dog biting.
Describing it as a serious issue, Nijjar said the state has a total 210 anti-rabies clinics at community health centres.
Last year, a total of 1.20 lakh vials of the vaccine were used for dog biting incidents, he said, assuring the House that there was a sufficient stock of anti-rabies vaccine and serum at such clinics.
AAP MLA Kuljit Singh Randhawa through a calling attention notice highlighted the issue of dwarf disease in paddy crop and said the Kharif crop in Mohali, Fategarh Sahib and Patiala districts were hit because of it.
Thousands of acres of paddy crop have been damaged due to the dwarf disease, said Randhawa and urged Revenue Minister Bram Shanker Jimpa to give compensation after conducting ‘girdwari’ to assess the crop loss.
Notably, Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University had earlier found southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV), which is also known as the dwarf disease, behind stunting of paddy plants in many parts of the state.
This was the first time that SRBSDV, which was first reported in 2001 from Southern China, had been detected in Punjab.