The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 26 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hose nearby to douse blaze Fire cover for secretariat

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 25: The state secretariat will have a dedicated fire station in its vicinity to deal with fire mishaps.

Though the fire station had been planned three years ago, it could not be located close enough to the secretariat.

At present, the secretariat depends on the fire station at Baramunda, which is nearly six kilometres away, in case of an eventuality.

Last year, there were two incidents of fire at the secretariat caused by short circuits.

Now, a plot of 0.385 acres has been identified behind Rajiv Bhavan for setting up a fire station exclusively for the secretariat and government offices around it.

Sources in the secretariat said the government had also sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore for infrastructure development of the fire station.

The fire station will have 15 personnel, including 10 firemen. Apart from the secretariat, it will also deal with mishaps occurring in the Assembly, heads of department building and Rajiv Bhavan.

The other major fire station in the vicinity of the state secretariat is at Kalpana Square and will take firemen nearly 10 minutes to reach the spot.

“In case of a fire mishap in the government buildings, it takes 10 minutes for us to reach there but traffic congestion can also delay our movement. With a fire station situated close to the state secretariat, it will be easier for us to tackle the blaze,” said a fireman in the Bhubaneswar circle.

The works department will carry out the modernisation of fire prevention measures at the secretariat building.

The government has sanctioned Rs 1 crore for commissioning of a fire-fighting system with fire hydrant manual and fire alarm system.

A fire hydrant is an above-ground connection with one and more outlets to which a fire hose is connected to tackle fire accidents. The hydrant also has a pump attached to it. This ensures that water is released with force to douse fires.

Following modernisation, the secretariat building will have alarm system hose reels to tackle fires. A pump house will also be set up on the premises of the secretariat, which will enable the hydrants to release water with pressure.

Though the secretariat has five entry and exit points and sufficient open space for smooth evacuation in case of a fire hazard, the building lacks proper fire fighting equipment. It only has fire extinguishers to fight the blaze.

Sources in the fire wing said the modernisation project would enable the employees of the secretariat to deal with fire mishaps during emergencies.

“We are also planning to impart training on handling fire mishaps to the secretariat employees,” said a fire wing official.