Roads not fit for big fire tenders to snake their way

90-m ladder planned for B'lore high-rises; officials sceptical of utility

Roads not fit for big fire  tenders to snake their way

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced in the budget that the Fire and Emergency Service department will procure a hydraulic aerial ladder platform of 90 metres in height to fight fire incidents in high-rise buildings in the City. 

However, officials from the department maintain that it will be practically impossible to use such huge equipment in Bangalore, which lacks broad roads.

The aerial ladders which are mounted on a multi-axle vehicle would weigh more than 22 tonnes. Officials said that each of these vehicles would cost more than Rs 5.5 crore depending on the Euro rate as these vehicles are procured from European countries and not manufactured in India.

The vehicle is so huge that it requires a 12-metre-wide road and the operational space requirement for it is eight metres. Once the platform of the ladder is in the air, it can rotate up to 90 degrees and this would also require space. The roads in Bangalore do not have much width except for the ring roads, says an official from the department.

Narrow roads

These huge vehicles cannot ply on the narrow roads and bylanes of the city. So, reaching the spot will become difficult. Taking City’s slow moving and dense traffic into consideration, it will be a tedious task for the vehicles to traverse, said another official. 

Withstanding capacity

The road should have a capacity to bear 45 tonnes, but the ones here do not have so much capacity. The weight of the vehicle increases as the ladder starts raising. The weight of the entire vehicle falls on the road as the jack fixed to the road helps in raising the ladder to a great height. But the City roads lack such withstanding capacity, an official said.

According to the National Building Code, any building which is over 15 metres in height should have an approach road that is 12 metres long and should have a six-metre space around the building to help in rescue activities during an emergency. 

The vehicle requires high quality maintenance and a separate garage for parking. The staff should be trained specially to operate this vehicle.

The Fire and Emergency department has aerial ladders of 30, 32, 50 and 52 metres. The 90-metre hydraulic ladders that are planned to be procured can be operated with the help of hydraulics or electronically.

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