The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We Ask You Answer
No burdens on taxed citizens

Kaushik Bose,
S.R.Das Road.

We pay taxes and in return the government provides us security, basic civic amenities and emergency services (which includes protection from fire). Today, if the fire department starts charging a fee for fighting blazes in business establishments, then tomorrow the cops might as well demand money for putting a criminal behind bars.

Virendra Shah,
Amratalla Lane.

The logic of self-sufficiency is not applicable to essential services in a social welfare state. A day is not far when the authorities will charge the public for air and sunshine too. The move must be opposed as it will provide the government a precedent to tax people whenever it wants.

Md. Tarique Nisar,
Collin Street.

Certainly not. The business establishments are also a part of society. It is the job of the fire department to douse flames everywhere.

Anindita Choudhury,

Definitely not. After all, why are we paying such hefty taxes to the government' If the fire department charges a fee for its services, the day won’t be far when the police, too, will ask for a fee to provide security. Moreover, there is unlikely to be any improvement in the quality of service, despite the fee. After all, it will remain a government department.

Rajarshi Ghosh,
Khanpur Road.

Definitely. This will enable the fire department to buy new equipment in keeping with the latest technology

Sananda Sen,
New Alipore.

It takes long hours of strenuous effort to save business establishments from fires. This hard work needs some monetary reward.

Suyash Jaiswal,
Hungerford Street.

There is nothing wrong with the fire department charging a fee. This will help it financially. Moreover, the majority of fires happens because of carelessness on the part of the occupants. So, they should be made to pay, so that they do not repeat their mistakes.

Hussain Modan,
Loudon Street.

Yes, the fire department should charge a fee to fight blazes in business establishments. It is a service that is being rendered, and hence, automatically attracts monetary considerations. However, in the event of large-scale damage, the fees can be waived on humanitarian grounds. The move will help turn the fire department into a more professional outfit.

Sayan Ghosh,

Commercial establishments should be charged to raise funds. When they pay high bills for everything else, why not a small fee for fire-fighting services, since the firemen do the vital job of risking their lives' Also, as consumers, they will have the right to blame the authorities if they delay in reaching the site to extinguish the fire.

Jayanta Datta,

It is a good idea. This will improve the quality of services rendered by the fire department. However, the department has to overcome the lack of infrastructure and professionalism. I think this proposal is a good one, and will certainly be a boost for the service sector.

Sounak Chakraborty,
Barui Para Lane.

Yes. Finances are sorely required to improve the infrastructure of the fire department. It should buy modern fire-fighting equipment, and train the firemen in new and improved techniques.

Suhel Banerjee,
Address not given.

The fire department is a wing of the government, and therefore, is no different from the police force or the municipality. When a crime takes place in a business establishment, does the police charge for the investigation' Does the municipality charge for removal of debris' No. The fire department, too, should not charge for its services. After all, they are paid by the government.

Arjun Mukherjee,

Owners of buildings who spend thousands on insurance should laud the efforts of firemen with a deserving remuneration. However, once this is introduced, there is a possibility of discrimination. The authorities must see that firemen perform their duty with the same diligence, whether a fee is attached to it or not.

Fakhre Alam,
Tiljala Lane.

No. It is the department’s duty to fight fires, be it in residential apartments or business establishments. And it is the responsibility of the government to provide us these services in return for the taxes we pay.

Govind Das Dujari,
Diamond Harbour Road.

Why should only business establishments be charged and not well-off individuals' Also, if the government charges a fee, then it must be prepared to render proper and prompt service. Otherwise, it might be dragged to court and made to pay a compensation.

Michelle Mendes,
Marquis Lane.

In Calcutta, the fire brigade tries to reach a spot on time, but with our traffic snarls, they rarely succeed. They can charge a fee to fight flames in business establishments only if they manage to reach the site of the blaze on time. Also, they may do so only if the establishment is ‘big’ in terms of financial strength. But if the concern is small, then they should be exempted from paying the fee. After all, it is the duty of the fire brigade to extinguish blazes, irrespective of gains.

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