J&K secretariat not prepared for disaster

With outdated fire extinguishers and no backup plan to evacuate people in case of a disaster, Jammu and Kashmir civil secretariat has no disaster management system in place.

A senior officer of fire and emergency department said all 18 fire extinguishers installed inside the secretariat building have expired.

“An expired fire extinguisher has to be replaced immediately. However, fire extinguishers installed inside the secretariat haven’t been replaced for decades now and in case of a fire, they will not work,” he added.

Sources told Deccan Herald that a few months ago, a senior police officer as in-charge of the secretariat security had written to higher authorities, saying that secretariat building lacked a fire fighting system and “has no evacuation plan in case of a disaster.”

However, they said, no one in the administration took the matter seriously until the Mumbai Mantralaya blaze  last month in which five people died and 14 were injured.

According to sources, after the Mumbai Mantralaya blaze, a high-level meeting was called by B B Vyas, principal secretary to the chief minister, in the secretariat. G A Bhat, director general, fire and emergency services could not give a satisfactory reply, sources added.

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