RAWALPINDI, June 28: The Civil Defence department has warned that lack of fire safety system and other security arrangements in Punjab government’s 49 wheat godowns located on the city outskirts might cause a major tragedy.
In its report submitted to Rawalpindi’s District Coordination Officer (DCO) Imdadullah Bosal after inspection of the godowns, the Civil Defence department said that the shortage facilities were at high risk of fire incidents as most of them either have no fire fighting system at all or have defective equipment, whereas there were also no proper security arrangements.
The godowns established in three compounds near the railway carriage factory hold around 77,417 tons of wheat.
The Civil Defence department’s report said only 70 soda-acid fire extinguishers were available in these godowns and all of them were unservice able, thus required to be replaced with water type (10 litres) fire extinguishers.
According to the report, the management concerned did not acted on repeated recommendations made by the department through letters.
There are no proper security arrangements in and around the godowns and the boundary wall has also not been constructed in accordance with the set standards.
The report asked the Punjab food department to erect a seven feet high parameter wall around the godowns, with barbed wires running over them. Besides installation of search lights on the boundary wall at suitable distance, the report said mirrors and metal detectors should be provided to the security staff to search vehicles and visitors.
The Civil Defence department has observed that automatic fire detection and alarm system was required in all the godowns. Similarly, suffi cient quantity of water should be available all the time for the fire hydrant system along with alternative means of power supply in case of electric failures.
In the report, quarterly surveys by experts have been recommended to detect any electric faults or worn-out wiring to avert fire hazards.
It also seeks strict compliance with the no smoking laws in offices and around the godowns.
According to the report, officials and security staff should be trained in firefighting, first aid, rescue and other emergency handling measures.
It may be mentioned here that the wheat stored in these godowns is supplied to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad as well as other adjoining areas.There are also 32 other godowns located in the area which are in the administrative control of the federal government to supply wheat to Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.