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Thursday February 29, 2024

Mayor stresses legislation to address building fire safety issue

By Our Correspondent
November 29, 2023

Legislation is necessary for ensuring the installation of fire safety equipment in buildings in the city, said Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab while addressing the opening ceremony of the Fire & Safety Asia International Trade Exhibition at the Expo Centre on Tuesday.

Wahab announced that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) would make a policy in this regard in the next meeting of the KMC City Council, saying that efforts are afoot to improve the fire brigade department in city.

He said that there should be a solution to the issue of multi-jurisdiction in Karachi. “We are stuck in the past. There will be improvement only by admitting the mistakes and correcting them.”

Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab while addressing the media during the Fire & Safety Asia International Trade Exhibition at the Expo Centre in this still on November 28, 2023. — Instagram/@geourdudottv
Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab while addressing the media during the Fire & Safety Asia International Trade Exhibition at the Expo Centre in this still on November 28, 2023. — Instagram/@geourdudottv

Umair Nizam of the International Exhibition & Conference, and relevant officers and delegates from different countries were also present on the occasion. The mayor visited the stalls set up for the exhibition and received information about the fire vehicles, equipment and machinery on display.

He said on the occasion that fire safety is very important, adding that it has been developed along modern lines all over the world. He stressed the need to increase awareness about fire safety in Karachi.

He pointed out that the fire brigade should play a very active role in case of a fire in any place. “Exhibitors from different countries of the world are participating in this event. It is a pleasure to have fire safety related equipment at more than 50 stalls.”

Wahab said residents of Karachi should visit the three-day exhibition so that they can get awareness about fire and safety, and adapt themselves to the latest technology. He said that in high-rises in the city, especially in the commercial complexes, it is important to have fire safety devices and emergency exits, adding that everyone wants the city to have a better firefighting system and to provide modern facilities to the firefighters.

“However, we should also realise our responsibilities in this regard. Five hundred and seventy-eight buildings in Karachi have been declared extremely dangerous and unsafe. A joint strategy must be adopted to prevent accidents.”

He also said that a force has been formed by combining the firefighting department with the rescue unit. It tries to minimise the loss of lives and properties by taking immediate action in case of a fire or other accidents in large and densely populated cities, he added.

“Acquaintance with new technology and skill is possible only when the necessary training is also provided to the manpower assigned to this work. The KMC is taking steps in this regard, and along with this, commercial buildings located along the main highways.”

The mayor said that an audit of the available fire and safety equipment, and emergency exit routes is also being undertaken with the aim to prevent fire incidents through pre-emptive measures and providing awareness to people.

He said arrangements for firefighting have been made in the industrial zones of Karachi in collaboration with the respective industrialists’ associations, and coordination with various institutions is being ensured to make the process more efficient.