Following frequent fire incidents in rural areas of Himachal Pradesh, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj Wednesday recommended setting up of water harvesting tanks and provision of fire extinguishers in every panchayat of the state.
In a letter to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Bhardwaj said that fire incidents in rural areas of Shimla district often result in several houses getting completely destroyed as blaze cannot be controlled in time. Fire-fighting is delayed because of the distance from the fire station to the village, and sometimes the fire tender has to return from the spot to the station to get a water refill, which further delays the operation, he said.
Several fire incidents were reported in Shimla district this month, including a fire in Bagi village of Rohru which affected 16 families a few days ago.
“Houses in villages of hilly areas are mostly made of wood and thus more susceptible to fire. It has also been noticed that fire tenders often do not get a water source for refilling. Every panchayat should have a rain water reservoir, which will help fire tenders in refilling their tanks. Also, the distance of the spot from the fire station is a cause of concern. If all the panchayats are provided with fire extinguishers, villagers could start the fire-fighting operations in time. Containing fire in the beginning will help reduce the loss,” said the minister.
Minor fire incident at Baddi pharma unit
Drug firm Panacea Biotec Wednesday said a minor fire broke out at its manufacturing facility at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh resulting in temporary suspension of work at the affected part. The incident took place December 29, in one of the air handling units of the soft gelatin manufacturing block. The blaze was brought under control with the fire control systems installed in the plant and the fire control department, the drug firm said.
There is no loss or injury to human life or damages of property due to the incident, however, as a precautionary measure, the firm has stopped production in the said block.