LAHORE   -   Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore Administrator Dr Mujtaba Piracha presided over a meeting on fire safety at the Town Hall on Monday and told the officials to ensure availability of fire hydrants in every building in the city.

Keeping in view the rise in fire cases in the provincial capital, authorities concerned stepped up their efforts to improve fire safety at city’s high-rise buildings.  At the meeting, Rescue 1122 and officers of MCL Fire Brigade gave briefings to the administrator.

It was decided to go after the violators who would not abide by the law to install fire safety tools on their premises.

Lahore Commissioner Dr Mujtaba Paracha last week took oath as administrator of the MCL and he would serve on this position for one year. He said that MCL would write a letter to the Punjab health secretary to give training to staff of all hospitalists of the city to avoid any untoward situation.

He directed Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to fill their 10 tankers with water to respond immediately to any fire incident.

Sources in Fire Brigade Department of MCL informed The Nation that a ban has been imposed on new recruitments since 2007. “There were 455 staffers of the department in 2004 but in 2007 the Punjab government imposed a ban on new recruitments and there are 233 staff members and there are 36 bus drivers,” a source said.  On the other hand, Civil Defence Department Lahore on 1st February had already written a letter to ensure the installations of the fire hydrants in the high rise buildings of capital metropolis.

An official of Civil Defence on condition of anonymity told The Nation that department is spearheading several measures against the fire eruption cases in city, including giving triaging to schools and arranging mock excurses. 

Lahore Development Authority Director General Amna Imran Khan in had already given instructions to monitor the high rise buildings and check their fire safety measures. LDA last year in December, constituted a 40-member ‘special squad’ for fire-fighting and rescue work in case of emergencies.

The squad was given three-day training by Punjab Emergency Services Academy for imparting fire-fighting training.

In April, fire broke out at a Banking Court in Lahore and damaged court records. On May 8, fire broke out in a high rise plaza near Kalma Chowk Underpass.