“The Punjab Government would never forget the sacrifices made by the brave firemen in the line of duty in the 2 fire incidents that took place at a factory in suffian chowk Ludhiana on 20th November, 2017 and the one which took place at M/s. Malka Textiles on 11-5-2017. It would always stand shoulder to shoulder with their families in their every hour of need.”These views were expressed here today at the Punjab Bhawan by the Local Government Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu while addressing the mediapersons on the occasion of honouring the surviving firemen of the above mentioned incidents and families of those who made the supreme sacrifice.Listing details, Mr. Sidhu said that today families of 9 firemen, namely Sub Fire Officer Mr. Rajinder Kumar, Sub-Fire Oficer Mr. Samaoun Gill, Sub-Fire Officer Mr. Raj Kumar, Leading Fireman Mr. Manohar Lal, Fireman Mr. Puran Singh, Fireman Mr. Rajan, Fireman (PESCO) Mr. Manpreet Singh, Fireman (PESCO) Mr. Sukhdev Singh, Fireman Mr. Vishal Kumar who made the supreme sacrifice, were honoured. Besides these, the 4 firemen who survived and sustained injuries namely Sub-Fire Officer Mr. Hajura Singh, Fireman Mr. Naresh Kumar, Fireman Mr. Lovelesh Kumar and Fireman (PESCO) Mr. Saudagar Singh were also honoured. Divulging more, Mr. Sidhu said that the families of the martyred firemen have been given financial assistance worth Rs. 10 lakh per person.
Disclosing more, the minister said that all the 13 firemen were recommended for the President’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry Award to be awarded at the Republic Day and in an unprecedented gesture, the Union Government accorded approval to all the 13 recommendations. He also said that out of total 15 personnel to be given this award, 13 hail from Punjab.Elaborating about other benefits to the families of the 13 firemen, Mr. Sidhu said that the families would be given Rs. 5000 per month financial assistance apart from exemption from the income tax, 75 percent discount while travelling in Air India, Free AC 3 tier railway passes to 2 persons per family and 5 percent quota to their children in studies.The minister also added that the fire directorate is being revamped at a cost of Rs. 550 crores with emphasis on the hydraulic machinery and other hi-tech equipments. He also said that recruitments would be made to the 270 posts in the directorate including the 38 persons injured in the train tragedy at Amritsar.Among others present on the occasion included the Director, Local Government Department, Mr. Karnesh Sharma.