'Eight wards in City high-risk fire zones'

The Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Department has identified eight wards in the City limits as ‘very high risk’ zones, posing threat to the safety of citizens in the core Bangalore region.

A 2011 report by Wilbur Smith Associates on the current fire hazard response and mitigation plan, commissioned by the Fire department, has explained the serious nature of the problem.

The ‘very high risk zones are mainly concentrated in dense residential, commercial and even defence establishment areas such as Petta area, Richmond Town, Malleswaram, Baiyyappanahalli, Peenya, CV Raman Nagar and Byatarayanapura. While Malleswaram is residential, Peenya houses commercial and CV Raman Nagar defence establishments.

The report said: “Out of the 38 planning districts, as defined by the RMP 2015 taken for the study, seven are classified under ‘very high risk’, 12 as ‘high risk’, 10 ‘medium’ and nine as ‘low risk’ zones.”

The report stated that the 38 wards represent 14 per cent of the total geographical area of the City and house 19 per cent of its population.

Based on the Standing Fire Advisory Committee’s recommendations, one fire station should cover 10 sq km of geographical area; accordingly 71 additional fire stations are required, stated the report. It also suggested that the government invest Rs 390.07 crore for the same.

The situation has not changed since the report was prepared last year, said the Fire department officials.

“We still classify the areas under the very high risk zones. For, there are more people, but less fire stations,” said an official.

The report was submitted by the Fire department as part of its proposal for additional fire stations in the City to the 13th Finance Commission. The Fire department has sought 50 fire stations in the City, which has now only 16.

“Out of 16 fire stations in the City, six were commissioned recently,” said the official.

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