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Srinagar to get modern firefighting, free training for volunteers, Jammu to wait again
1/21/2020 11:38:01 PM

AB Sharma
EARLY TIMES REPORT

Jammu, Jan 21: Concentrating further on infrastructure development in trouble-torn Kashmir, albeit “at the cost” of Jammu, in the latest, the government has decided to upgrade firefighting infrastructure and to train volunteers free of cost in the summer capital.
Officials told Early Times that as a part of the Srinagar Smart City Project, the government has decided to make the city highly-advanced on the lines of developed cities like Singapore and Thailand.
Sources said a multi-crore project has been approved for Srinagar. Official documents reveal that the project includes strengthening of 23 fire stations along with their integration and development. Officials said over 100 state-of-the-art hydrants will be installed at different locations in Srinagar.
Apart from this, the Fire and Emergency Services department has decided to provide free of cost training to volunteers interested in learning firefighting in Srinagar.
Under the Smart City Project, while government is taking every possible for further development of Srinagar, such initiatives seem to be missing the administrative acumen in Jammu city.
The congested old city of Jammu along the banks of river Tawi in particular, sans such modern facilities while the administration, as per the sources, is yet to come up with a decision on upgradation of firefighting system in the winter capital. Sources said there’s no plan as yet to train Jammuites to be volunteer firefighters either.
Officials said the Jammu city needs even better firefighting infrastructure for a “simple reason” that as compared to Srinagar, Jammu is more congested and that any incident of fire can prove more devastating by leaving entire locality reduced to cinder.
“There is a need to have around one thousand latest water hydrants in old city of Jammu alone where firefighters can’t rush in with fire-tenders in case of exigency. Besides there’s a need to improve fire fighting network at heritage landmarks like Mubarak Mandi, established by the Dogra Maharajas,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
Sources said till now not much has been done for upgradation of infrastructure in Jammu through the ambitious Smart City initiative of the Modi government.
When contacted a senior official tried to downplay the notion of discrimination with Jammu. “We are on the job and infrastructure in Jammu will be upgraded on modern lines,” the official said.
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