Kochi

Fire safety: SLMC to seek explanation from corporation

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Panel to examine firefighting facilities at Brahmapuram plant

The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management will visit Brahmapuram next month ahead of filing a report before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that the Kochi Corporation is yet to fully comply with its directives on preventing frequent fires at the dump site.

The committee will seek an explanation from the civic body on the delay in implementing the directions issued after the two major fires in February and March. SLMC Chairman A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai and State Pollution Control Board Chairman Ajit Haridas will visit Brahmapuram by the second week of November to examine the firefighting measures adopted at the site. The committee will file an affidavit with the response of the Kochi Corporation by November end, according to officials close to the development.

The committee’s recommendations to prevent frequent fire hazards at Brahmapuram included the setting up of a fire belt, heavy duty pumpsets, and an overhead water storage tank of adequate capacity. Except for installing a temporary pump and a motor set, the civic body has not complied with the recommendations, the committee said.

In its order issued in July on the legacy waste situation across the country, the NGT had referred to Brahmapuram. “Though known as Brahmapuram waste management plant, it has only been acting as a large garbage dump for many years. The garbage heaps spread across 16 acres have been posing threat to people, with recurrent fire outbreaks,” it had said.

The Fire Department, which had a tough time dousing the two major blazes at the dump site, had recommended the setting up of a permanent hydrant system at the plant. Firefighters had pointed out that pillar fire hydrants ensuring pressurised water supply were crucial in sites like Brahmapuram considering the extent to which fire can spread in a short span. The department had also suggested a ring main design for effective distribution of water in an emergency. Ring main refers to a primary loop that is connected to the pumps so that there are two routes for water to flow in case one side gets blocked.

In its reply to the committee, the corporation said it had set up six-metre-wide roads at the site for easy access for fire engines. The expertise of the Fire Department is also sought for installing firefighting mechanisms as suggested by the committee, it said.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 2:15:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fire-safety-slmc-to-seek-explanation-from-corporation/article29661580.ece

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