Over 10,000 officers of the state fire department have not been getting their requisite uniform and other paraphernalia for at least two years. The authorities blame paucity of funds for the delay.
In the 109 fire stations across the state,officers and technicians are entitled to four pairs of trousers and four shirts a year,a good pair of shoes every year,three batteries for their torches per month,a packet of soap and a pack of shoe polish every month.
It has been over two years that we got the trousers and shirts. The last ones we got was a ready-made pack of ill-fitting ones. We buy our own uniforms now, said an officer at the headquarters of the fire department.
Another employee at Kalighat Fire Station said,Shoes play an important part in our job. In the last two years,the quality of shoes that we got has been very poor as they tear very easily. We use these shoes in extreme conditions,so they should be of very good quality.
Besides,officers also allege that they have not received any soap or shoe polish for the past three years. The one that they last received was of very poor quality,locally manufactured,as against the Cherry Blossom polish that they used to get previously.
Sources also said that the agencies that were supplying these were charging the department a lot more than the market value.
DG (fire) Durga Pada Tarania said,Yes there is a backlog. Employees get the uniforms as and when they come to us. I will not be able to comment on why there has been a delay.