Delhi emerging as a tinderbox with poor strength of firefighters

New Delhi: The national capital is emerging as a tinderbox as data shows that there has been a constant increase in the number of fire calls received by Delhi Fire Services (DFS).

The data published in 2011 showed that the total fire calls had increased by almost 65 percent in five years.

According to the data, the DFS had received a total of 18,143 calls in 2011, which increased to 22,581 in 2012.

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Similarly, the number of calls received by the DFS increased consistently between 2013 and 2017 and saw a massive jump in the total number of calls received by the department.

In 2016, the DFS received more than 30,000 calls and it crossed the mark of 30,000 calls for the first time, which means the DFS received at least one call of a fire incident in every 20 minutes.

On the other side, the DFS is facing a shortage of 35 percent of staff to deal with fire incidents.

According to an official document, the sanctioned strength for the DFS was around 3,600 till last year but less than 2,000 people were working there.

This year, 500 new recruits have joined the DFS. However, 800 posts are still lying vacant.

Also, the control room of the DFS, which is responsible to receive calls, is facing a massive shortage of staff.

Currently, the DFS has more than 200 fire engines with a capacity of 5,000 liters of storage to cater to a population of almost 2 crores.

According to the information available, cities with 50 percent less population have more firefighters than the national capital.

London and New York with a population of 89 lakh people have 6,000 firefighters and over 17,000 firefighters, respectively.

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