“The firemen and officers who risk their lives in the line of duty to save those of others deserve a well placed and a robust infrastructure which I promise would soon be a reality and the commencement of the ‘Fire Safety Week’ throughout Punjab is a positive sign in this direction.”Disclosing this here today at the Punjab Municipal Bhawan during the inauguration of one of its kind initiative in the form of Fire Safety Week to be observed from 14th-20th April, the Local Government Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu said that he salutes the selfless and sacrificing spirit of the firmen and officers who don’t bat an eyelid before plunging themselves into the danger zone for saving the lives of other people. The minister further said that during a visit to the CMC hospital in Ludhiana to enquire after the health of 4 firemen who were badly injured in a recent fire incident in Ludhiana in which the lives of 17 people were lost including 9 personnel from the Fire Brigade Ludhiana.Describing Fire service along with that of Ambulance as the essential one, Mr. Sidhu said that the State Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is fully committed to the development as well as modernisation of the fire services. It is part of this commitment that a Fire Directorate has already been established and very soon a Fire Safety Act would also be in force for making every building compliant with the fire safety norms.
Listing the measures undertaken by the government in the fire safety sector, the minister said that a project worth Rs. 500 crore with regard to the fire services sector has been sent to the Union Government.
Disclosing more, he said that the Chief Minister has allotted Rs. 8 crore for purchasing fire suites for the firemen and besides this, Rs. 11 crore order for purchasing 20 fire vehicles would be placed and promised to provide 50 fire brigades in the service of the people. He also assured that 8 corporations would be provided with Rs. 8 crore worth fire tenders. Divulging other measures, the minister said that 500 recruitments would be made in the fire services sector and furthermore, a Fire Training Institute would be established in Punjab where besides the firemen from state those hailing from the other states would also be given training. He also assured the fire fighters for making efforts to ensure that they get the salary of clerk instead of the driver which they are now getting. Emphasising the need to make people aware about the fire safety norms, the minister reiterated his assurance of providing a world class infrastructure in the sphere.
Earlier, Mr. Sidhu took salute from the excellent march past presented by the fire services personnel and honoured the families of the firemen and officers sacrificing their lives in the Ludhiana fire incident and other mishaps or saving the lives of people during other incidents. The names of the officers are – Sub Fire Officers from MC Ludhiana Samaoun Gill, Raj Kumar and Rajinder Kumar Sharma, Leading Firemen Manohar Lal and Puran Singh, Firemen Rajan, Vishal Kumar, Manpreet Singh and Sukhdev Singh (All Posthumously), Sub Fire Officer (Now MC Amritsar) Hajoora Singh, Firemen Naresh Kumar, Lovelesh Kumar, Saudagar Singh (All injured), Sub Fire Officer Madan Gopal, Leading Fireman Amarjit Singh, Firemen Rajinder Singh (All injured-from Patiala), From MC Jalandhar-Leading Firemen (Regular Employee) Vipan Kumar, Driver (PESCO Employee) and Maninderjit Singh (Driver-PESCO Employee) (All Injured), Driver Kulveer Singh (Municipal Council Sangrur), Sub Fire Officer Gurpreet Singh (Municipal Council Khanna) and Sub Fire Officer Ajay Goel (Municipal Council Kapurthala).On the occasion, Director Local Government Department Mr. Karnesh Sharma while thanking Mr. Sidhu said that it entirely due to the efforts and vision of Mr. Sidhu that a Fire Services Directorate has been established in Punjab and fire services have been strengthened. The CEO of PMIDC Mr. Ajoy Sharma termed it as a historical occasion that the Fire Safety Week is being observed in the state. And besides this, the firemen rendering exceptional services have been honoured. Among others who were present on the occasion included Special Secretary Mr Mohinder Pal and Joint Commissioner, MC Mohali Ms Avneet Kaur.