BANGALORE: While the recent fire mishap in Russell Market is still fresh among Bangaloreans, it seems like the officials concerned are still not in a mood to be alert. Sources say more than 99 per cent of fire hydrants, which play a major role in extinguishing fire during mishaps, are non-functional in the city. With the onset of summer, cases of fire mishaps surge. But, seems like the officials concerned have turned a blind eyes towards the fire hydrants in the city. The hydrants are have to be maintained by the Bangalore Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
Director General of Police of Fire Services A R Infant admitted that the fire hydrants were not in good condition. “There are about 15-16 fire hydrants in the city, but none of them are in a working condition. If functional, the firefighters draw water from it and use it to extinguish the fire. In the absence of these hydrants, fire tenders are forced to go to nearby water resources to fill water. Lot of time is lost in firefighting exercise,” he said.
He said that the Fire department had written several letters to the authorities of BWSSB, asking them to maintain the fire hydrants. But, so far there has been no positive response from the water board officials.
“In the interest of public safety, we will soon write to the BWSSB, again. As per the manual of fire department, fire tenders are expected to draw water as soon as the tanker becomes empty. With the majority of fire hydrants turning to be dummy models on display, our staff have no option except to search for nearby water refilling centres.”
A senior officer from BWSSB said that the fire hydrants were maintained by BBMP and BWSSB’s role was restricted only to ensure water connection to the hydrants. They also claimed that they had not received any letter from the Department of Fire Services and would taken action if officials contact them.