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Malwa region not in first list of fire brigades, residents fume

Ahmedgarh/Payal, July 28, 2017Residents of the Malwa region, falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts, were disappointed over the first list of fire brigades announced by Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu as did not contain the names of their civic bodies.

They have now urged the legislators of their respective areas to use their clout for the establishment of fire brigades at least in the next lot.

Residents said life and property of the region’s residents were prone to fire mishaps during the coming festival season as the successive governments had failed to fulfil the long-pending demand of fire brigades at Ahmedgarh and Payal.

Contrary to the earlier trend when fireworks and crackers used to be stored and shifted from one place to another prior to Diwali, wholesalers start purchasing and stocking during the off-season too. Most of the godowns are situated on the outskirts of towns and at villages as seeking permission for stocking and displaying crackers is more difficult in case of councils and corporations.

Some godowns are situated at discrete places which would be almost inaccessible in case of rescue operation if required.

Regrettably, a majority of the business organisaions, educational institutes and industrial units do not bother to make adequate preventive and remedial arrangements to douse the accidental fires. The fire brigade being maintained by the Shryans Group of Industries is the first and last resort for curbing any accidental fire. It takes hours in requisitioning fire brigades from Ludhiana, Sangrur and Jagraon.

Officials at civic body offices claimed that the meager paraphernalia available with the organisations were updated from time to time for the emergency use. Attempts were made by the civic bodies to set up a fire brigade at Ahmedgarh had proved futile.

“Though we had initiated the process for having a fire brigade, it did not bear fruit due to the technical reasons and lack of political support,” said former Municipal Council president Ravinder Puri maintaining that legislator Surjit Singh Dhiman had now assured to impress upon the authorities concerned to accept the long-pending demands of the residents.

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