VIJAYAWADA: Around 3.5 lakh people living in nearly 60,000 houses on the hill slopes in various parts of the city are bracing up for yet another scorching summer and potential fire accidents this year. The city witnessed as many as 30 fire mishaps till date, since 2015.
“Summer is quite challenging for residents of hill slopes, but we are habituated to high temperatures. We usually protect ourselves from the blazing heat by covering the doors and windows with khus mats and constantly watering them for cooling effect,” said V Krishna, an auto driver living on the hill slope near Machavaram.
According to Vijayawada mandal revenue officer P Siva Rao, there are more than 60,000 houses with more than 3.5 lakh population on the hill slopes in the city.
A majority of them, mostly auto drivers, class IV employees in government departments and lower middle-class sections, do not have permission to construct houses there. For, they are vulnerable to potential fire accidents and land slides during summer and in rainy season.
“Since many fire accidents occur, especially in summer, on the hill slopes, there is a dire need to create awareness among the residents on fire safety and disaster management,” felt State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department Director General K Satyanarayana.
This year, the Fire department is planning to procure 26 backpacks from across the State.