PUNE: Fire station officials claim that due to speed breakers in several areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad, the fire vans take more time to reach the incident spot which increases the risk of casualties. Also, as there is no proper alignment of speed breakers, it takes a fire brigade van double the time to reach the incident spot.
Kiran Gavde, Chief Fire Officer of PCMC, claims it has become a huge problem for their drivers because the speed breakers are not constructed properly. Along with it, there are a lot of speed breakers on a small stretch which leads to delay in reaching the spot.
There are five fire stations in Pimpri-Chinchwad including - Bhosari, Rahatni, Talwade, Pradhikaran and the main fire station is at Sant Tukaram Nagar, Chinchwadgaon. There are total 18 vans and each fire station has one van respectively. The rest of the vans are kept at Sant Tukaram Nagar Fire Station.
Gavde said, “A fire van contains minimum 6,000 and maximum 12,000 litres of water weighing 25 tonnes. If a call comes from an area, two vans are deployed i.e. one from the area concerned and one van from the main fire station. These issues are just spoken about in the meeting held in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), but we have not put it on the paper so far.”
Gavde further added, “Because the intensity of the fire doubles every 60 seconds, delays can make a difference in the severity of damage and affect the outcome or any casualty on the spot. There have been several cases happening every day when a call comes but due to the speed breakers, the trucks slow down and the situation become worse till the time the van reaches the spot.”
According to the Indian Road Congress (IRC) guidelines, a speed breaker should be built as a rounded hump of 0.10-metre height and 3.7-metre width, with a 1.5-metre ramp on both the sides. The speed breakers should be marked with alternate black and white paint, and for better visibility during the night, luminous paint should be used. Further, 40 metres before the speed breakers begin, signboards warning riders should be placed. IRC also makes it mandatory to maintain the speed breakers at regular intervals.
Ashok Kanade, Incharge of Sant Tukaram Nagar Fire Station, said, “Since two years, the number of speed breakers in the city has increased. We have to struggle a lot to reach the spot where a fire incident has taken place. From Chinchwadgaon, if we have to go to Pimpri, it normally takes us five minutes. Now, it takes 7 to 8 minutes or sometimes even more than that to reach the spot. We reach on time but we are afraid of reaching late.”
Sandeep Kokare, a driver of a fire van, said, “We fear about the break down of the van or being late on the spot. The speed breakers and traffic worsen the situation sometimes. Along with it, shock absorbers of the van also get damaged due to uneven alignment of speed breakers. Speed breakers should be there, but they should be at certain spots and along with it, they should be marked with paint or at least signboards should be installed. Due to lack of these facilities, we suffer from various problems.”
Jeevan Gaikwad, Executive Engineer of Civil Engineer Department (PCMC), said, “The speed breakers, crossing and other such facilities are made according to public, police, school and hospital demands. If the fire officials have any such issues, they should coordinate with respective zone officers. They should report the matter in official records and only then, necessary steps can be taken.”