IMPHAL October 23: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and PDA chairman Kh Loken Singh jointly flagged off 29 brand new fire fighting vehicles from the Manipur Fire Service Headquarters near Polo Ground today.
The vehicles include six CHEETAH fire tenders. The CHEETAH machines which are made in Germany uses the most advanced fire fighting (Water Mist) technology and are a new arsenal to the state fire department. It is ten times more effective in fire-fighting than any ordinary water tender.
The flag off ceremony held at the Fire Service Headquarters was attended by the Chief Minister as the chief guest and Kh Loken as the president among other top officials belonging to various government departments.
The Chief Minister in his address announced that sufficient manpower will be provided to the department before the election code of conducts comes to effect. He stressed that the interior areas of the state need better fire fighting capabilities.
“ It will be a fruitful initiative for the Manipur Development Society if reservoirs are dug out at thill areas, which would provide potable water and also act as filling stations for the fire tenders”, he said.
The Chief Minister also addressed the need to modernize the structure of the administrative block of the department . It may be mentioned that the present building was constructed in 1946.
N Noren, director of the Fire Service Department in his address mentioned that the department was established with only a skeleton staff of 27 personnel led by one station officer with only three vehicles.
“Today is a significant day in the history of Manipur Fire Service Department since no Chief Minister or a home minister have stepped in this campus since the inception of this department in 1957”, he said.
At present, there are 16 fire stations/sub stations distributed at all district headquarters and sub divisional headquarters except for Porompat. Till today, except for Ukhrul, Jiribam and Moreh, all other sub stations are functioning with only one water tender each. The department has to encounter many awkward situations whenever there is a big fire outbreak or receives simultaneous calls at a time, he mentioned.
He further stated that with the aid of the government, 18 Advanced Water Tenders, 2 Foam and CO2 Tenders, 6 CHEETAH (Water Mist Technology) tenders and 3 Mini Water Tenders along with state of the art rescue gears have been purchased at a total cost Rs 7,60,70,000 out of which Rs 5 crores was sanctioned under SPA scheme and Rs 2,60,70,000 from another central sponsored scheme. The tenders will be distributed to the outlying sub stations and headquarter stations.
The director mentioned the need of additional manpower for the department with the increase of vehicles stating that both man and machine has to be in an equal ratio to effectively tackle hazardous situations. At present, there are only 205 active personnel out of the total 281 sanctioned posts for the entire state. It may be mentioned that according to the norms of the Standing Fire Advisory Council, 39 personnel has to be stationed at a post and a main station must have the capacity to respond to six fire calls.
Afterwards, personnel of the department gave an impressive demonstration of the effectiveness of the new CHEETAH Water Mist fire fighting tender.