Owing to lack of funds 18 out of 35 CDA’s fire fighting vehicles stand dysfunctional

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—More than half of the CDA’s emergency department vans and fire fighting vehicles stand dysfunctional as they are in poor shape and there are no funds for their repairing. This puts a big question mark on the civic agency’s efficiency to meet an emergency situation.
The Directorate of Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) of CDA is literally rendered ineffective and impotent because of its poorly maintained vehicles.
Around 18 out of total 35 vehicles of this directorate are out of order for want of funds that amount to Rs300,000 only while on the other hand chairman CDA Maroof Afzal has recently claimed the EDM would be upgrades and expanded further regarding fire service of international standard to Islamabad.
Chairman CDA also claimed that more modern training courses will be conducted to enhance professional expertise of the staff so that CDA fire-fighters could play effective role in overcoming any emergency situation in Islamabad and other cities of the country.
According to the CDA sources 18 vehicles of the EDM Directorate are dysfunctional and in poor shape thus unable to meet any emergent situation. Because of their uncertain condition, they were not included in Fire-Fighters Day (May 4) celebrations. The sources further said it only cost Rs 300,000 for their upgrading and repair. At a time the CDA is bent on taking more training courses for staff members and equipping the directorate with state-of-the-art technology while on the other hand 7 vehicles are not operative due to batteries, 5 for faulty tyres and 5 for minor faults. These 35 vehicles were purchased at the cost of Rs666 million.
Chairman CDA while addressing a ceremony recently said that Directorate of EDM was equipped with trained staff and state of the art fire-fighting apparatus and it has proved its skill and professionalism not only in the emergency situation in the country but also in other countries of the world.
The sources told Pakistan Observer that fire-fighting vehicles have gone off road due to lack of funds and the management has been contacted in this respect. They said that 17 vehicles of this directorate were off the road on the occasion of fire fighters day but they have not developed any major fault. Some vehicles are off road due to non replacement of batteries and some due to defective tyres. However, these vehicles get started when they are pushed.
Funds amounting to Rs300,000 have been approved by the Chairman CDA and proposal has been put forth before him for creating emergency fund in order to deal with any emergency situation. Out of this fund off road vehicles will be got repaired timely but this proposal has not been approved so far.

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