With the National Capital witnessing a spate of fire incidents this month amid a rising mercury, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has written to the Lieutenant-Governor about shortfall of resources to tackle such incidents.
In their letter to Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung, the authority has demanded more quick reaction team (QRT) vehicles to tackle the challenges posed by growing incidents of fire in the capital.
This month alone, incidents of fire have been reported in Massodpur, Bawana, Gole market, the Supreme Court and Vinay Marg.
The DDMA, which has only 11 QRTs for all of Delhi, has made a demand for 33 more vehicles. “We requested that at least one QRT per divisional magistrate should be provided. All our 11 QRTs are prepped up and kept ready for any circumstance. Even then, they get to the accident spot no sooner than 20 minutes after a call. We have one for North Delhi. But, Northwest Delhi is too large an area, so we need more vehicles,” Dharam Pal, secretary, DDMA, said.
Though the proposal is yet to be cleared by the Finance department, the DDMA is pushing to get the vehicles soon as officials believe that with the mercury rising, incidents of fire in the capital will only increase. An official stated that the Met department has predicted less rains this year, which along with soaring temperatures, may pose a problem this summer.
Officials said QRTs are vital as they provide the department an idea of the magnitude of the damage within 10 minutes of getting to the spot. Essentially modified Innovas, the QRTs have a fire cylinder, cutter, water pump, Aska light for darkness, gumboots, safety helmet, search lights, masks, shovel, oxygen cylinders, gloves, blanket, folding stature, two first aid kits and three staffers.
According to those deployed in the QRTs, the vehicles reach a spot only 30-45 minutes after the department gets a call.
This, they say, delays the response time, but due to lack of vehicles, QRTs cannot be deployed for a smaller area.