Panchkula, April 7
The onset of summer has led to a rise in the number of incidents of fire. The district witnessed 22 fire incidents in the first five days of the month, including a major fire that gutted 42 shanties in Marranwala in Pinjore on April 3. Fortunately, there was no fatality in all fire incidents.
However, firemen deployed in fire operations have time and again claimed that had they got better equipment and more manpower, they could have dealt with the fires more effectively.
The district does not have a full-time fire officer.
Tarsem Singh, Ambala City fire officer, holds the additional charge of the Panchkula Fire Department.
Even though the Fire Department failed to provide the exact data, an official said on condition of anonymity, "The number of fire incidents is rising, but we don't have enough manpower and machinery to deal with the situation. We have to rely heavily on old machinery and the existing workforce is overloaded."
"A water bowser of 18,000-litre capacity, two foam tenders and two water tenders are among the machinery required," he said.
"We need 20-25 more men for the department," the official said.