The fire-fighting operations at Saidanima tomb was further compounded by lack of water tankers

Lack of availability of water during Sundays and festival days has become an impediment for personnel involved in fire-fighting operations in the capital. The authorities have attributed the problem to lack of coordination among various departments in times of such crisis.

The latest example is the fire mishap on Sunday in the shops located inside the graveyard near Saidanima tomb at Tank Bund. Though the shops were located close to a water reservoir and the pump house, the fire personnel could not manage to get water supply for fire-fighting because it was a Sunday and the water tanker drivers and other staff left for their homes a bit early. As a result, property worth a few lakhs was gutted in the fire.

The fire-fighters had to stop their operations for more than 15 minutes as they waited for water supply. To replenish the water, officials had to call for fire tenders from places as far as Moula Ali to control the fire. Eventually, it took more than three hours for the fire personnel to douse the fire.

Officials said that the fire could have been doused much earlier had there been enough supply of water through water tankers. “It is not just a one-off incident. There are several instances in the past when we had wait for fire tenders for a long time to arrive from different fire stations,” an official said.

Fire safety rules stipulated water storage facilities in big apartments, commercial establishments and even homes but hardly these are followed. Due to lack of availability of water the job becomes tough and results in delays, the officials point out.

A regular fire tender has a water storage capacity of 4,500 litres and in case of major fire accident more fire tenders are summoned. It takes a lot of time for a fire tender to go to reservoirs and refill the tank and come back to resume the operations. “To avoid it even for small mishaps we are forced to summon vehicles from far-off places particularly on holidays,” say officials.

A little coordination among various departments, including local police would be of great help, officials added.

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