Fire Incidents: Haphazard parking of vehicles delays rescue operations


Srinagar, July 3, KNT: Haphazard parking of vehicles outside houses especially on the narrow internal roads has become a nuisance for firefighters in Kashmir capital Srinagar, and elsewhere. ‘This illegal and unwanted practice is delaying rescue operations in case of any fire incident,’ said officials from the Fire and Emergency Department.

The news agency Kashmir News Trust talked to various officials and drivers of the Fire Department who unanimously agreed that they face immense difficulty in reaching to the spot of fire due to the roadside parking of vehicles particularly during late night hours.

Everywhere in Srinagar and elsewhere, the vehicle owners who lack parking space, park their vehicles outside their houses or in their lanes. “Sometimes we are being forced to stop far away from the spot of incidence due to narrow lanes and haphazard parking of vehicles. Residents at some places had to douse the flames on their own as we were unable to reach the destination,” admitted a fire tender driver wishing not to be named.

Narrating an incident, he said that due to a short circuit a house in downtown Srinagar had caught fire. “Locals rang up the fire station for help but the fire engines sent on its way could not reach the spot because the vehicles parked haphazardly on either side of the road had blocked its passage,” he said adding that the firefighters reached the spot on foot but, by then, people had controlled the blaze already.

He continued: “Without knowing the reality and understanding the situation, people start blaming firefighters, which is not justified. I think the irresponsible vehicle owners should be blamed for narrowing the path of the fire tenders and they should be made accountable for any major damage”.”

Another driver said that it is difficult to locate the owner of the parked vehicle during night hours. He said hundreds of such incidents happened when their journey towards the spot of the incident was delayed due to wrong parking outside houses in the interiors.

The law in Jammu and Kashmir permits any citizen to own a vehicle even if he or she doesn’t possess a parking space at home.

An official said that the Traffic Department can punish these irresponsible vehicle owners using punitive measures such as imposing fines on them.

“An easy method to check this practice is to conduct nocturnal drives, identify the wrong parked vehicles that block the passage and challan them,” he said and requested the local administration to intervene to take action against the people who park their cars in the middle of the road instead of to a safe side.

A trader from Srinagar told KNT that it isn’t the only Traffic Department to drill some civic sense into people and teach them about safe parking but car owners also have to understand their responsibility and park their cars at safe and secure spots.

In the recent past, a surge in fire incidents has been witnessed across Valley. In Srinagar, a fire incident occurs almost daily. The latest devastating inferno occurred in the Bohrikadal area of Srinagar city. [KNT]


Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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