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City to have permanent hydrant systems soon

Fire dept. working on proposal to install them at regions prone to fire accidents

July 18, 2019 11:42 pm | Updated 11:42 pm IST - KOCHI

The Department of Fire and Rescue Services is giving final touches to a major proposal to install permanent hydrant systems at regions vulnerable to fire accidents in the city.

The district wing of the department will soon submit a report to the District Collector.

Meanwhile, the department is preparing a detailed project report on locations where pillar hydrants should be set up.

Among the locations shortlisted for setting up pillar hydrants are Broadway, M.G. Road, Vyttila, Brahmapuram, Kalamassery, Kakkanad, Jew Town, and Mattancherry.

Spots will be identified based on feedback given by officials at the 18 fire stations in Ernakulam.

A pillar hydrant system connected to the water main line will allow firefighters to quickly access local water supply.

Firefighters usually use a special wrench to remove the valve cover to open the line. Water then flows through the hydrant into the hose used by them.

According to officials, pillar fire hydrants ensuring pressurised water supply for firefighting have all but disappeared from public roads with the elevation of roads, while the agencies concerned seem uninterested in restoring them.

Such systems have already been set up in fire-vulnerable regions like Mittayi Theruvu in Kozhikode. Plans are afoot to install pillar hydrants in Thiruvananthapuram too.

Kochi, which is a commercial hub, requires pillar hydrants considering its high-risk fire regions, they said.

Exclusive connection

The department has also suggested the setting up of an exclusive connection from the main line of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) for the fire brigade to ensure uninterrupted availability of water during a fire breakout. This could be at a major point in the city like Menaka Junction or M.G. Road, according to fire personnel.

At present, fire force personnel depend on their own storage tanks or ponds within the city to refill fire tenders.

The availability of an exclusive access point from the main line of the KWA will enable them to minimise the time taken to refill fire tenders without being concerned about the likelihood of water shortage at secondary sources.

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