LAHORE - The provincial capital can never be rescued if faces massive fire breakout in any part, as the city authorities are unable to provide fire-fighting services due to an inadequate number of fire stations, insufficient strength of fire fighters, lack of rescue apparatus and meagre resources. In the wake of recent surge of terrorism the city is more exposed to fire tragedies, but fire-fighting facilities are yet to be revamped on scientific and modern lines. Having observed the severity of situation after the launch of Rescue 1122, former CM Punjab Pervaiz Elahi announced to launch model fire service in Lahore on May 25, 2007. Under the programme, all emergency services had to be integrated under the umbrella of Rescue 1122 for instantaneously responding to any untoward situation in the city. District Nazim Mian Amer Mahmood had signed an agreement with Rescue 1122 authorities for handing over administrative control of city district government Lahore's fire brigade to the latter's organisation at Emergency Services Academy, Ferozpur Road during a ceremony held in connection with Intentional Fire Fighters Day. The agreement aimed to establish city fire service on modern lines, equipping it with latest technology, imparting fire-fighting training to the staff in view of the present day requirements and restoring public confidence in this organisation. It also carried the goal to ensure brisk, coordinated and coherent efforts for protecting precious human lives and property in case of fire incidents. On the other hand Rescue 1122 would place the services of district emergency officer/emergency officer along with essential staff and ancillary equipment at the disposal of the CDGL for the smooth management of the emergencies in Lahore. The authorised representatives of Rescue 1122 were bound to report the DCO for management of emergencies. When contacted, CDGL Fire Brigade Station Fire Officer Muhammad Altaf responded that project of model fire service was still on cards. He said that former CM Punjab Ch Pervaiz Elahi took this initiative but could not get it materialised, as under the Local Government Ordinance 2001, provincial government could never transfer CDGL services into other department. He said that to execute the project, 5th provision in the ordinance needed to be amended. Due to this compulsion the project halted for some period.  He said that as present government had also shown interest in this regard, a delegation comprising Rawalp-indi fire officer, Multan fire officer, DG rescue and representative of local government department was going to hold a meeting with the local government commission on today (Saturday). Survey revealed that fire brigade units lacked proper and efficient fire-fighting equipment, as there are more than 200 100-foot tall buildings in the city, but no fire station has ladders that can reach above 30 feet. The CDGL needs to provide the fire department turntable hydraulic or snorkel vehicles. Another problem is insufficient fire fighters strength. Currently there are 220 firemen, 29 head firemen (regular) and 60 work chargers and only one fire officer. Four seats are still vacant for another fire officer and assistant fire officers. Surprisingly, 140 firemen have crossed the age of 45 but they performing their job which is totally against the rule of business. The rules explain that any firemen who reaches 45 could not perform his duties efficiently, so he is bound to be transferred to other sections. The city has 15 fire-fighting units and central fire station is located at Jinnah Hall. Others are located at Shahdara Ravi Road, Timber Market, Akbari Market, Badami Bagh, China Scheme No 2, Shadbagh, Cantt, Dharampura (Mustafabad), Queens Road, Band Road (Nawankot), Baghbanpura (Shalimar Bagh) and Allama Iqbal Town and Nishtar Town. These stations are unable to render services to the population of about 8-10 million. CDGL fire brigade station official on the condition of anonymity said that there should be 100 fire stations in the city. Each station should be reserved for 100,000 people, an official said, adding, "But given the lack of resources, the city should have at least 30 fire stations." A research report by the Civil Defence states that surveyors recommend at least 40 fire-fighting vehicles for the city. It said each station should be within three minutes drive from a fire in its jurisdiction whereas presently fire-fighting vehicles take more than 15 minutes to get to a fire. Also, Lahore's fire brigade lacks the required water to fight large fires, as it can currently get about 1,000 gallons per engine. Water is only available at 13 primitive overhead taps, which are actually horticulture and municipal tanker water stations.