Police and Fire departments get cracking for a safe Diwalihttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/police-and-fire-departments-get-cracking-for-a-safe-diwali/

Police and Fire departments get cracking for a safe Diwali

The Delhi Police and the Fire department are gearing up to ensure an incident-free Diwali this year.

The Delhi Police and the Fire department are gearing up to ensure an incident-free Diwali this year. The police are also more cautious this Diwali with US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Capital scheduled a day after the festival.

The Delhi Police have decided to strengthen its presence across the city,including malls and markets like Paharganj,Sarojini Nagar,Lajpat Nagar,Greater Kailash,Kamla Nagar,Mayur Vihar and Dilli Haat,where shoppers would be thronging for Diwali purchases. The Fire department is also positioning tenders outside crowded markets that do not have a fire station nearby to ensure a quick response,officials said.

Market and traders’ associations are being issued safety guidelines during Diwali. Official sources said they will deploy a police battalion in every busy market for patrolling duty. “We are on vigil and have deployed personnel across the city. Market places,malls and shopping complexes are vulnerable targets and are being kept under close scrutiny,” a senior police officer said.

The police have also asked representatives of market associations to keep extra vigil on the surroundings. A PCR van will be positioned near markets and malls. Quick Reaction Teams and SWAT teams will also be deployed across the city,the officer said. “There will be checking at borders. We have also intensified our tenant and servant verification drives ahead of the festival season,” he added. “We have Obama’s visit a day after Diwali. We are geared up for that as well,” he said.

A senior Fire department official said. “Ninety-nine per cent of our personnel will be on duty on Diwali day. All our vehicles will be ready to deal with any situation.”

Last year,the department received 267 calls related to fire on Diwali day. The figures were 270 and 150 in the previous years.

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A terror attack by the Lashkar-e-Toiba on Diwali eve in 2005 had claimed over 60 lives in three blasts at Paharganj,Sarojini Nagar and Govindpuri markets.