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No danger if pandals leave 50 per cent space open: Fire Officer

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 13 (UNI) To prevent any repetition of Meerut like blaze in the Capital, the Delhi Fire Service has asked Delhiites to leave 50 per cent of 'breathing space' in areas where pandals for functions, ceremonies or exhibitions are put up.

Addressing the media on the eve of 'Fire Safety Week', which has 'Follow Fire Precautions: Prevent Fire' as its motto for the year, Chief Fire Officer R C Sharma said if half of the space is kept open there would be no cause for worry even in case of emergency as people could easily escape in the event of a fire.

''Every pandal builder must take this precaution, besides keeping the ceiling above three metres height and not using inflammable material or synthetic ropes, to avoid any mishap.'' On any occasion, where pandal or any artificial enclosure for a function is to be built, 50 per cent of the area should be reserved as 'open space' and four 'exit routes' provided on all sides for easy movement of people, he said.

On recurring 'jhuggi fires' in the Capital, Mr Sharma said as long as combustible material is used in making 'jhuggis', fire eruption could not be prevented.

''Fire being a common hazard, awareness is the best tool and precaution the only way out,'' he stressed.

''We have some of the most modern equipment to handle any type of exigency and with a workforce of 2,200 personnel spread across 42 fire stations, we are committed to a safe Delhi,'' the CFO said.

In addition, a 'Computerised Command and Control Sytem' was being planned which would centrally control and monitor movement of vehicles during a fire call. A 'Water Mist System' could also be introduced this year to curb the spread of fire, he said.

Mr Sharma also informed that of the proposed 28 new fire stations, 17 were in various stages of completion and would be ready by 2007. Sanction has already been granted for appointment of 508 personnel, he said.

Also, in this fiscal Rs 46 crore under the plan head and Rs 35.70 crore under non-plan head have been proposed for the Delhi Fire Service in the budget, Mr Sharma added.

UNI AN SB GC1847

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