Official apathy: Nine years on Fire & Emergency Services’ proposal to install station in Keran gathers dust, Machil raises demand
By Tasaduq Hussain
Kupwara: Department of Fire and Emergency Services is sitting idle on its own recommendation made in 2009 to set up a F&ES station in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The recommendation is gathering dust since nine years now.
Machil sector now has been demanding a fire fighting station, to which officials claim that once they get a nod on the previous recommendation, they will look into their demands as well.
Sources in the department confided to INS that the district officials of the department had conducted a survey of the places were the stations should be installed and the report was duly submitted for further action to the ‘higher ups’.
“It was in 2009 that the survey was conducted in Kupwara and the recommendation was duly made for the installation of station for far off places. No action was taken on it,” sources said.
According to sources in the recommendations made, Keran was included as it is almost 40kms away from the nearest fire station.
“You cannot even say that nearest station is 40kms. That by no means is nearest in any sense,” an official privy to matter said.
While locals are aghast that the department is not serious enough to install the station even though there have been couple of fire incidents in these far off places.
Assistant director F&ES, Kupwara Abdul Khaliq confirmed that the department had surveyed the area and did forward its recommendations to the higher authorities in the department.
“We have sent a recommendation to government for setting up a fire station in Keran, as it is around 40 Kilometers away from Kralpora fire station,” he said.
Officials at the department said according to rules of fire fighting the first fire tender should reach to the High risk, Medium risk or Low risk areas in three to five minutes.
“There is a fourth category called ‘D Zones’, for least or no risk zones mainly open or rural areas. Even for D Zones the fire tenders should reach in 20 minutes of time,” the official said, adding that ‘it’s impossible to travel fourty kilometers in 20 minutes’.
Assistant director F&ES Kupwara also confirmed that the survey was down in 2009.
“We have not received any communication despite submitting the recommendation nine years back,” he said.
When asked that same has been demanded by the residents Machil area as well, he said that once the approval for recommended fire station is provided to them they will do ‘survey for Machil area’.
“We will do the required survey for the area as well as it is far away from the Kalaroose fire station,” he said.