The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services will make a proposal seeking powers in approving layouts of fireworks units, its Additional Director-General of Police, Ramesh C. Kudawala, said.

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, Mr. Kudawala said at present the role the fire services had in the cracker units was only fire-fighting and rescue work during fire accidents.

There were certain lacunae in the fireworks sites such as mud roads on which heavy vehicles like fire tenders cannot be operated. “Many a time, we rush our fire tenders to the cracker units after we get a call, but would not be able to proceed into the factory premises, inviting criticism from the public,” he said. Many fireworks units were located in remote places without proper road connectivity.

“We will suggest to the committee formed by the Union Government to bring about certain changes in the rules of granting licences to the fireworks units,” Mr. Kudawala said.

When his attention was drawn to granting of no-objection certificates for buildings by fire officers without inspecting them, he said the officers concerned had been instructed to give certificates vouching for the facts and figures of the building. “Thereby, the responsibility is fixed on the individual official, who will have to make verification on his own,” he said.

Stating that 54 more fire stations were required as per the all-India norms for fire and rescue services across Tamil Nadu, he said they would be established in a phased manner. Presently, there were 304 fire stations in the State.

Tamil Nadu will be the first State to own a 101-metre-high skylift.

The government has sanctioned two 101-metre-high skylifts and 54-metre-high skylifts each.

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