Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj held discussions with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur regarding fire safety measures in the rural areas of the state. He was of the view that more effective steps are required to be taken to check the fire incidents in the rural areas especially in the winter season when such cases are on the rise.
The Minister suggested that rainwater harvesting tanks should be constructed in every Panchayat besides providing them with fire extinguishers. He cited his visits to rural areas of Shimla where several houses were gutted in the fire. He apprised the Chief Minister that during the visits to the fire-affected families, it was noticed that fire that could not be contained in the beginning engulfed houses. It has been noticed that the distance from a fire station could lead to the delay in the fire fighting operation.
Suresh Bhardwaj said villages especially in hilly areas were made up of woods and more susceptible to fire. He said that every Panchayat should have a rainwater reservoir that would help fire tenders in refilling their tanks. It had been noticed that fire tenders did not get a water source for refilling, he added.
He said the distance of the fire spot from the fire station was also a cause of concern. If all the panchayats were provided with fire extinguishers, villagers could start the fire fighting operations on time and containing fire in the beginning would help to reduce the losses.
The Minister said that in many cases, people could not start the fire fighting as neither there was adequate water nor any other equipment and they had to wait for fire tenders. With the facility of fire extinguishers in the Panchayats, the fire could be contained immediately before it turns to a major mishap.
Suresh Bhardwaj had recently visited the Baagi village of Rohru in Shimla district where 16 families suffered due to a massive fire in the village.
The Chief Minister assured that the state government was committed to save losses to human and property resulting due to fire incidents in the rural areas and the suggestions of the Minister would be considered on prioirity.