What Is Making Fire-Fighting In Thane Highrises Even More Challenging?
Many homebuyers are turning to Thane to find affordable homes close to a city that is counted among the most unaffordable property markets in the world. Yes, we speak of Mumbai. Thane will not disappoint you at all, but concerns around building safety have been rising in the recent past with several structures in Thane witnessing fire incidents.
Recently, fire broke out at the 28th floor of a residential building, Basilius at Hiranandani Estate. In January, there was a fire at Giriraj Heights, a 26-floor residential building at Hari Niwas and another accident in March on the fifth floor of a commercial complex at Uthalsar. Although the occupants in all these cases were lucky enough to escape unhurt, the fact that the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) lacks the vital 90-metre skylift is sure to give the city residents jitters. Skylift is a fire-fighting solution mostly encompassing truck-mounted hydraulic aerial platform for reaching greater heights during rescue operations.
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In 2015, the TMC gave a nod for the proposed height of over 92 metres for residential buildings, highlighting the need for vertical growth to meet the city’s rising housing demand. Around 100 highrises received a plan approval from the civic body along with fire NOC. However, without adequate firefighting facilities, the future of these buildings hangs in balance. The recent fire accidents in Thane have revived the conversations around fire safety and the municipal corporation’s preparedness in handling such cases, especially in highrise buildings.
To carry out firefighting operations in highrise buildings, the city’s Fire Brigade Department follows the TMC fire manual. However, equipment required to deal with an emergency situation are missing. This has reduced the efficiency and prolonged the response time for the safety officers who are left with no choice but to climb a flight of stairs to reach up to 30 floors or more for dousing the fires.
A fire which occurred in Sunderban complex of Samata Nagar in 2014 claimed two lives. This is when the fire department sent a proposal for a skylift, but is still waiting to get the equipment. In fact, Rs 30 crore was also set aside in the 2015-16 Budget to purchase the equipment. A panel set up to study the details in this regard is busy doing its job. In the meantime, fire-fighters have to make use of small 50-metre turntable ladder to do the job so far.