Country Has Less Than 3,000 Fire Stations Against 8,500

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New Delhi: Indian cities and rural areas are facing shortage of fire stations as little less than 3,000 such units are operating against the requirement of over 8,500, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said India has 2,987 fire stations against the requirement of 8,559, which shows a deficiency of 65 per cent.

The Standing Fire Advisory Council, which has representatives from all states, has recommended setting up fire stations based on response time — five to seven minutes in urban areas and 20 minutes in rural areas.

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He said the maintenance of fire service is a municipal function but the Centre pitches in with funds and training to improve the infrastructure and quality of manpower needed to tackle fire incidents.

The National Disaster Management Authority had issued guidelines in April, 2012 to standardise the type of equipment and training of personnel to modernise and improve fire fighting capabilities in the country, Rijiju said.

The National Fires Service College, Nagpur provides training to fire officers in advanced techniques of fire fighting and rescue, keeping in mind changes such as industrialisation, growth of industry and expansion of urban areas, he said in his written response.