Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should upgrade its Disaster Management team by appointing qualified and experienced staff, in the aftermath of the Mantralaya blaze which claimed five lives, an RTI activist has said.
"I would like to bring to your kind notice that there is urgent need to upgrade and improve Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai`s Disaster Managemant dept situated at the head-office basement," Athak Seva Sangh chairman Anil Galgali said, in a letter to Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte.
"The location of the department should be also suitable, as the basement in any building is not a suitable place, as in the case of the calamity, the basement is the most dangerous place to be in," he said.
It is alarming that after the fire broke out at Mantralaya, chief fire officer Suhas Joshi got information about the fire from one of his friends and not through official channels, Galgali said.
This incident in itself is an example the ineffective system that is in place, he said.
It has repeatedly come to light that the attendants at the disaster management department of BMC are unaware of several incidents/accidents even after the fire department has attended the call and return to their bases, the RTI activist said. This shows lack of coordination as the fire department is also an arm of the civic body, he added.
The disaster management department, located in the BMC head-office, is nothing more than a call centre, wherein people`s complaints about potholes or drains are duly noted in the register only to be transferred to the respective department, he said.
"I suggest that services of a senior retired armed forces officer be taken for smoother functioning of Mumbai in an event of crisis as the current bosses are not qualified and it has been proved that they have miserably failed to rise to the occasion," he said.
The commissioner should augment the resources and manpower of the fire department as the population of Mumbai has been multiplying at a rapid pace, he said.