As the national capital gears up to celebrate Diwali, the Delhi Fire Services is putting in place elaborate plans to ensure a trouble-free "festival of lights".
From cancelling leaves of staff to deploying fire-fighting equipment at 30 spots across the city, the fire department said it was "fully prepared" to tackle any fire-related emergencies.
Diwali, which falls on October 24, is celebrated on a large scale in the national capital. The festivities, however, begin a day earlier.
Despite a complete ban on crackers, the department had received over 152 fire-related calls on Diwali in 2021. The number was, however, 25 per cent lower from 2020 and the lowest in 15 years, fire officials said.
The fire services control room usually responds to the maximum number of calls on Diwali and fire-fighters need to be on their toes at all times to deal with emergencies, they said. This year, around 2,900 fire-fighters will be on duty to tackle emergencies.
As per the arrangements, the fire department will deploy a water tender each at 22 busy locations from 5 pm to midnight on October 23 and 24. These spots have been selected based on an analysis of yearly fire-related calls during Diwali so that a water tender can quickly reach any location in case of a fire and check its spread, a senior fire official said.
The areas identified for deployment of water tenders are Bara Tooti Chowk, Tilak Nagar, Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, Lal Kuan Chowk, Lahori Gate, Nangloi, South Extension, Sonia Vihar, Mehrauli, Ghitorni Metro station, Alipur police station, Rani Bagh Market, DTC Depot Katran Market, Gandhi Nagar Market, Mahipal Pur Chowk, Sangam Vihar, Mundka metro station, Dera Goan Mor, Azad Market Chowk, Jaipur Golden Hospital, Paper Market Gazipur and Yamuna Vihar.
Besides water tenders, motorcycles fitted with fire-fighting equipment will be deployed at five other locations with narrow and congested lanes. These include Ambedkar Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Sabji Mandi Ghanta Ghar, Paharganj Shiela Cinema and Gandhi Nagar.
The department will deploy other vehicles fitted with fire-fighting equipment at spots such as Connaught Circus, Geeta Colony and J Road.
Delhi Fire Service Director Atul Garg said, "We are fully prepared to deal with any fire-related emergencies this Diwali. Our department has been doing extra deployment at different locations to reduce the travel time.
"The fire stations and appliances have also been kept ready to meet any eventuality. We have chosen 30 locations where fire-fighting vehicles with equipment and staff will be deployed to tackle any emergencies more efficiently and quickly."
Garg added that all senior officers had been directed to ensure maintenance and upkeep of fire vehicles under their jurisdiction and to carry out inspections of fire stations for availability and operability of maximum number of fire units and equipment.
"Casual leave, earned leave and day-off of officers and staff have been cancelled for October 23 and 24 to ensure that we have maximum fire-fighters to deal with any fire-related emergencies," Garg added.
The officials said fire-related calls usually went up on Diwali, mainly due to bursting of firecrackers, not taking adequate precautions while lighting earthen lamps or candles and not checking for loose wiring while putting up decorative lights and overloaded extension boards causing short-circuits.
-With PTI Input