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7 more fire stations for north by next year

Siliguri, Nov. 22: The state fire and emergency services department has sanctioned funds for seven new fire stations in north Bengal including one at Naxalbari.

For Siliguri, this would be the third fire unit.

Udaynarayan Adhikary, deputy director of fire services department (north Bengal), said: “Apart from Naxalbari in Darjeeling district, six other fire stations would be set up at Dalkhola in North Dinajpur, Harishchandrapur in Malda Falakata, Barobisha and Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri and Haldibari in Cooch Behar district.”

Currently Siliguri has two fire units, one in town and the other at Matigara, 5km away.

According to sources, the station at Naxalbari, 35km from here, will be able to address a long-standing demand of the local people.

“The unit will come up on a 1-acre plot earmarked by the department. Once the unit starts functioning, it can cater to Kharibari, Panitanki and almost the entire Naxalbari block. Construction work for the fire units at Dalkhola, Falakata and Haldibari is also on,” he said. Adhikary added that the stations are likely to be ready by next year.

According to the fire official, there are 23 fire stations in the six districts of north Bengal. “Among them Siliguri has the highest capacity. It has a five-pump unit from where five fire tenders can simultaneously move to different locations. Jalpaiguri has the second highest capacity. It has a three-pump unit. The other fire stations have single-pump facilities,” said Adhikary.

He said the construction cost for each unit will be around Rs 90 lakh-Rs 1 crore. “The proposed stations will have one-pump service, two engines and one reservoir with a minimum capacity to store 50, 000 litres of water. The proposed staff strength for each unit is likely to be four fire officers, 20 operators, four drivers and two staff members.”

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