KOCHI: Even as summer is taking its toll on the common man, the Fire and Rescue Department is facing big trouble. Water shortage has hit its fire tenders. The number of fire accidents cases being reported from across Kerala is increasing. But water shortage has placed fire stations in the state including in Kochi in a catch-22 situation.
Speaking to Express, R Prasad, Divisional Officer of Fire and Rescue Service, Ernakulam, said water shortage has become a challenge for the department. “This is the first time that we are facing such water crisis in the city. Whenever an accident is reported, the fire tenders have to be rushed to the spot with limited water supply.
Another fire tender with a full tank has to be rushed behind the first one to support the operation. Usually, in emergency cases we fill the tanker from the nearby water bodies. But since the water bodies have dried up, the fire tenders have to be brought back to the stations for refilling. Situation becomes worse when the accident spot at a great distance from fire stations,” R Prasad said.
Though the department has water tanks and water tanker at Gandhi Nagar, Club Road, Thrikkakara, Tripunithura and Mattancherry Stations, they are facing acute water shortage this year. When supply gets low at these stations, the fire tenders are normally filled from temple ponds, canals and public ponds.
Each fire tender has a capacity of more than 10,000 litres. Keeping all the fire tender ready with their tanks filled for emergency operations has become a daunting task now.