Picking on some narrow roads in the city, president of Nagarika Hitarakshana Samiti, Mangalore G. Hanumantha Kamath asks: “In case of fire, how will a fire tender move on Kandathpalli-Kudroli-Boloor Road or Matadakani Road?”

Mr. Kamath said that as far as managing fire disasters was concerned, many narrow roads in the city were a cause for concern as fire tenders could not move on such roads, he said.

He suggested that Mangalore City Corporation should identify such narrow roads required for the movement of fire tenders and widen at least four of them in a year. Mr. Kamath said there were no hydrants or overhead tanks specially meant for drawing water in case of fire disasters. “According to my knowledge, the erstwhile Mangalore municipality had three such hydrants. Of them, one is near Gerosa School at Valencia,” he said.

He said the Corporation should have hydrants at specified areas as local administration had been claiming that there was enough water for supplying to the city from Thumbe vented dam.

H.S. Varadarajan, Chief Fire Officer, Mangalore Region, concurred with Mr. Kamath. To a question, Mr. Varadarajan said that the city has two “mini fire tenders” named Varuna, one at Kadri and another at Pandeshwar. They are jeeps. The Fire and Emergency Services uses them on narrow roads.

He said that they alone could not douse the fire in emergencies. If a large fire tender could not ply on a narrow road, it moved till a certain point and the fire-fighters connected hose of the large fire tender to the jeep to douse fire.

Mr. Kamath said the revised zoning regulations under the Master Plan II for Mangalore Local Planning Area which came into effect from October 1, 2009 has put certain conditions for constructing high-rise buildings. The Corporation should ensure that builders construct buildings on such roads which had road width specified under the plan.

An official in the Town Planning section in the corporation said that as per the revised zoning regulations under the Master Plan II, it was mandatory to obtain clearance from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for any buildings which were above 10-m high. It was applicable to building licenses issued from the Corporation from November 1, 2011. The official said now (under the Master Plan II), a 12m-high building could be constructed only if the road was six metres wide. It was not mandatory under the zoning regulations of Master Plan I, he said.

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