07 October 2019
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea seeking improvement in fire and emergency services across the country.
An apex court division bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhat asked the Centre to file a response to the plea filed by one Sanjay Garg.
The petitioner had sought directions to the Central government to provide better training tools to firefighters and adopt the Model Bill on Maintenance and Provision of Fire and Emergency Services until a comprehensive law to that effect is passed.
He said that an ill-trained and incompetent fire department is a hazard to society.
In his plea, Garg said that whereas firefighters all over the world are given due respect and treated as heroes, in India, they are not even provided modern working tools or handsome salaries.
He also expressed his pain over several incidents across the country and said that government has not learnt any lessons from the past for controlling such incidents.
He said that fire and emergency services are an integral part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
He also said that whenever fire accidents occur, the focus is put on lack of fire safety measures taken by the property owner. He said that proper attention should be given to also to the lack of facilities and trained staff in the fire department.
Citing a study on fire hazard and risk analysis carried out in 2012, the petitioner said that there is a deficiency of 1,315 fire stations in urban areas and 4,257 fire stations in ruler areas.