Mumbai

Waiting for a fire engine? Get SMS alerts from BMC soon

Welcome change: The BMC plans to introduce the SMS facility as part of several upgrades to its disaster management unit.

Welcome change: The BMC plans to introduce the SMS facility as part of several upgrades to its disaster management unit.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

If there is a fire or disaster in your area and you are wondering how long it will take for the fire engines to reach you, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now inform you about their progress.

A complainant calling the BMC disaster management unit will now have to submit his phone number so that the BMC can update him how many fire engines have been dispatched, when they are expected to reach and the time of the fire being doused. The civic body hopes that this will prevent panic at the disaster site.

Bridging info gap

“When there is any disaster, all stakeholder agencies get a message from the disaster management unit. We realised that people are also stakeholders. They also deserve to know as they are the ones who inform us. That is why we will inform the complainant,” said I.A. Kundan, Additional Municipal Commissioner, in charge of disaster management.

Locals often allege that the Fire Brigade reaches late. In turn, the Fire Brigade claims that they were not alerted early enough, and they reached as soon as possible. This problem can be prevented, as the complainant will have the time of the call and expected time of arrival of the fire engines.

The BMC is upgrading its disaster management unit, and has introduced several new measures ahead of the monsoon. Authorities have also come up with a standard operating procedure for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Fire Brigade, as the two are sometimes at loggerheads over handling a disaster. It is undertaking maintenance works at its automated weather stations, and plans to introduce the SMS facility as a part of these works. The BMC has invited bids for these works, and has shortlisted a contractor.

New equipment

Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam will unveil the Fire Brigade’s mini fire engines and control post vehicles on Monday. The mini fire engines, which will prove useful in firefighting operations in narrow lanes and hazardous situations, have been in the offing for a while now.

The Fire Brigade’s firefighting robots will also be inducted into service this year. The idea is to prevent loss of personnel during operations in dilapidated buildings such as Gokul Niwas in Kalbadevi, where four officials lost their lives.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 12:47:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/waiting-for-a-fire-engine-get-sms-alerts-from-bmc-soon/article23639363.ece

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