Fires a constant threat to Mumbai: Fire Brigade report

Panduranga Mhaske
Saturday, 30 December 2017

There are 2,405 fire officers and men spread over 34 stations in Mumbai. There are approximately 900 industries involved in the manufacture and processing of hazardous goods or their storage.

Mumbai: Fire risks including conventional residential fires, industrial fires, moving hazardous vehicle explosions, etc. are a constant threat to Mumbai, says a report sent to the State government by the Mumbai Fire Brigade.

Following directives from the Central and State government, the Mumbai Fire Brigade had calculated the risk factors and prepared a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) proposal after a study. The proposal was submitted to the State government and sought financial help for upgradation of fire services.

Mumbai is greatly diversified and has practically every type of fire risk. According to the study, there are many buildings which are closely built and old timber framed in the island city. Many buildings, including high rises, don’t have adequate fire-fighting facilities.

Area like Kalbadevi, Mumbadevi, Bhuleshwar, Bhendi Bazar, CP Tank are residential, but many commercial activities go on there.

Oil refineries, petrochemical industries in Chembur (Mahul) may also cause a major fire in the city. Besides, 74 per cent of the population lives in slums and they too are under fire threat as there are many hazardous industries there. There is often storage of hazardous goods in slums and they don’t have adequate fire fighting equipment.

Many godowns lie in close proximity of residential areas. This could also cause fires in residential areas.

“Recognising fires as a major hazard to the city, a comprehensive approach to its management is needed. The fire brigade is seeking financial help of Rs 11 crore from the State Finance Commission for upgradation of the fire brigade. It is a proposal, and it will be finalised after approval and acceptance by the State government,” said Prabhat Rahangdale, Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade.

DRM is based on the principle that the impact of disasters can be reduced through appropriate preparedness, planning and management actions.

The range of measures utilised in DRM policies, strategies and actions are ultimately meant to contribute to the safety and well-being of communities, at the same time protecting assets and development gains and improving services to the population.

The Disaster Risk Management Master Plan (DRMMP) is an analytical model based on international standards, which is being prepared for Mumbai. This plan will provide the foundations for reducing fire risks to the population, infrastructure, ecology and economy of the city.

By adopting the DRMMP as a management tool for disaster risk management, Mumbai will be able to mobilise institutional and community resources and provide a coherent and efficient approach of actions prior, during and after a disaster. 

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