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March 11, 2023 10:45 pm | Updated 10:45 pm IST – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Fire fighters dousing a fire that engulfed a coconut farm at Padaparamba in Kuruva panchayat near Perinthalmanna on Friday evening. | Photo Credit: SAKEER HUSSAIN
As the onset of summer has led to a rise in fire mishaps in the State, keeping the authorities on their toes, the State government has decided to hold fire safety audits in major commercial areas with high risk of fire, waste dumping yards, forested areas in residential places, all hospitals and other important government offices across the State. A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday directed to prepare an action plan at the district level for holding the fire audits and form task forces at the local body level for this purpose.
A sum of ₹10 crore will be sanctioned from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to procure additional equipment and chemicals for the fire and rescue services. Fire audit of all hospitals and major government offices should be conducted under the aegis of the Electrical Inspectorate and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to prevent short circuits causing fires.
The Water Resources Department has been directed to identify the areas where drinking water shortage is likely to worsen during this summer and make the list of areas available to the Disaster Management Authorities and the Local Government department to prepare action plans regionally in advance. A total of 5,000 water kiosks installed by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) should be operationalised and used, he directed.
A sum of ₹10,000 per kiosk will be sanctioned to the local bodies for inspecting the water kiosks and cleaning or repairing them, if necessary. The Health department has been told to provide specialised training for health workers to deal with heat-related health issues including burn injuries and summer communicable diseases. The Education department has also been directed to ensure the safety of students and staff. As it is exam time, there will be more mental stress, leading to increased heat stress. So enough ventilation and cold drinking water should be ensured in the examination halls, the meeting suggested.
Further, immediate inspection has to be carried out in firecracker manufacturing units and storage places to ensure fire safety with the help of the Police and Fire and Rescue Services Department. Similarly, festivals should be conducted as per festival safety criteria guidelines published by the SDMA. Necessary fire safety checks should be conducted in the firecracker units associated with the festival. Considering the warnings that the heat will increase in the future, short-term and long-term plans, including ‘Cool Roof’ as suggested by the Heat Action Plan, should be implemented. In addition, heat action plans should be prepared for all cities in Kerala, the Chief Minister directed.
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