Punjab to set up fire directorate

Fire Prevention Act would also be enacted by the department: Navjot Singh Sidhu : 

Chandigarh:  The Punjab government today said it will come up with a directorate of fire services in order to improve the service in the state even as it hit out at the previous SAD-BJP regime for not paying any attention to the essential service.

"We are coming up with a fire directorate for better fire services. Some funds have also been made available for it," local government minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said during a question hour in the ongoing budget session of Punjab assembly.

He was replying to a query posed by AAP MLA (Sunam) Aman Arora regarding fire brigade at Sunam.

Sidhu further said Fire Prevention Act would also be enacted by the department.

The minister accused the previous regime of not paying any attention towards fire and ambulance services in the state.

"Punjab has 195 fire vehicles at 54 fire stations, out of which 114 are outdated," he said.

The minister said the previous dispensation "totally neglected" this sector.

"The Union government had given a grant worth Rs 90 crore for fire services and out of which only Rs 17 crore were spent and that too for small vehicles. The rest was resumed due to non-spending," he said while taking a dig at the previous SAD-BJP regime.

Sidhu said till now, there is no vehicle for fire services equipped with aerial ladder, barring one at Mohali, although hordes of multi-storey structures have come up in the cities.

He assured the House that the department would purchase ultra modern vehicles for all the fire stations.

He also disclosed that the current government under the leadership of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh would turn the weaknesses left by the previous government into strengths.