3 more stations planned for swift response

  • fire fighting
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Nov 14, 2017-

Juddha Barun Yantra (JBY) is planning to establish three temporary fire brigade stations for more effective response to fire incidents around the metropolis.   

The JBY has proposed to establish temporary stations at old trolley bus garage in New Baneshwor, Sankha Park in Dhumbarahi and Sitapaila within three months, according to Badriman Nagarkoti, JBY operation chief. 

“We have proposed these areas as the growing traffic congestion is making it extremely difficult for fire engines to reach the accident sites in time from Basantapur station,”said Nagarkoti. The JBY has been run under the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC)

According to the proposed plan, the temporary station at Dhumbarahi will look after Bansbari, Budhanilkantha, Sitapaila and Dhapashi areas. The station at Sitapaila will oversee Kalanki, Swayambhu and Thankot areas. And the station at Baneshwor will respond to calls from Koteshwor, Chabahil, Baneshwor, Sankhamul areas.   

Chief Executive at the KMC, Dhaniram Sharma said establishing a temporary fire brigade station  being a proposed programme of the metropolis. “We have considered this issue very seriously, and going to establish the station very soon,” he said. He said, the plan will be implemented within this fiscal year.     

Established in 1937 by Rana prime minister Juddha Shumsher at Basantapur, the JBY fire station now has four fire engines in working order. The station has 35 staff on its payroll and has a water tank with a storage capacity of 38,000 litres. 

Rajendra Bahadur Shrestha, who has been working as fire engine driver at the JBY for the past two decades, believes the plan will go a long way in helping the fire fighters get around the traffic problem and reach the incident sites in time to rescue lives and properties. “Constant traffic jams on busy roads in New Road and other areas in the Capital mean sometimes a fire would destroy everything by the time we reach the incident site,” said Shrestha. 

Each of the planned fire stations will be armed with a fire engine and five staff members, according to Nagarkoti, the fire brigade will be coming to load water from the central office in Basantapur, and will be kept stand by in all three places. 

“But the fire brigade will not be limited to the KMC, if needed, we are even ready to go out of the valley,” said Nagarkoti.  

As per the international standards, there must be one fire fighter for every 2,000 people and one fire engine for 28,000 people. But there are barely 10 fire engines and two dozen fire fighters in three fire stations--Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur--in Kathmandu Valley that has a population of over 4.5 million. 

While meeting the international standards remains a long shot, Nagarkoti is confident that the establishment of additional stations would go a long way towards more efficient and effective service delivery from the JBY in addressing the fire hazards in the Valley.

Published: 14-11-2017 07:31

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