Centre mulls over fire safety act

Given the loopholes plaguing fire safety initiatives put in force by the states, the Centre is considering a legislation that would supplement the state initiatives. 

Officials said the central legislation would address several aspects of the fire and emergency services which remained unregulated and neglected. 

They also added that the central legislation would supplement the fire acts currently in force in the states while attempting to plug any gaps that remained unattended by the state legislation. The Union Home Ministry is drafting a Fire Safety Act which it would send it to the Law Ministry as soon as possible.

The issue of unorganised fire safety regulations came up at a brainstorming session held by Directorate General of Civil Defence (DGCD), at the initiative taken by the Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

DGCD is the nodal office offering advisories to state governments on fire prevention, fire protection, fire legislation and training. Officials said fire services are still a concern for local bodies in many states.

“Fire services in the country are ill-organised and ill-equipped. The lack of funds has been the main constraint in equipping the fire services and providing adequate fire safety cover to the population in a uniform manner. 

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