Mumbai set to become first city to get fire-fighting robot BMC budget 2022

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Mumbai set to become first city to get fire-fighting robot BMC budget 2022

In the wake of recent fire incidents in the city, Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allotted ₹365 crore to the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) in its budget 2022 to upgrade its facilities and existing infrastructure, and impart basic fire and life safety training to Mumbaiites.

This is 55% more than what it was allotted to the MFB in 2021. Out of the total money allotted, ₹300 crore have been earmarked for technical upgradation of machinery, and ₹65 crore will be used for the construction of new fire stations during the FY 2022-23.

Mumbai set to become first city to get fire-fighting robot BMC budget 2022
Mumbai set to become first city to get fire-fighting robot BMC budget 2022

Some of the major projects that will be undertaken in the next year include purchasing robots and drones for fire-fighting, surveillance and assessment. The BMC will also construct a drill tower cum multiutility training simulator at Thakur Village (Kandivli east) fire station for extensive training of firemen. Senior officials of the BMC have said that they are already in discussions with several firms for procuring drones and robots.

“We are planning to get drones that could be used in real time firefighting. These drones will be able to scale the buildings from outside and may be used in spraying chemicals through sprinklers that will help in dousing the fires or controlling the flames,” said an official of the fire brigade.

The budget stated that BMC will purchase a fleet of combined firefighting cum rescue vehicles with hydraulic platform and turntable ladder. The MFB will also purchase quick response vehicles for mini fire stations at municipal ward levels and all the old vehicles will be replaced. In addition to this, the BMC has allotted ₹3.71 crore to the disaster management department to carry out Multi Hazard Vulnerability Risk Assessment (MHVRA) of Mumbai under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

“The robots and drones could also be used in assessing the origin point of the fire as these devices can penetrate deep inside a fire scene where our firemen can’t reach,” the official said. In the budget, the BMC has proposed that a disaster recovery control centre will be set up for the command-and-control system with upgradation of existing infrastructure.

The objective of MHVRA will be to investigate prominent natural and manmade hazards for livelihood and severity and to identify any threat that may require a timely and coordinated response to protect lives and property. With the recent rise in fire cases reported across Mumbai, in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) budget 2022-23 an amount was set aside for procuring modern fire extinguishing materials and equipment.

New projects that are slated to be undertaken on the fire safety front are:

  • Construction of Drill tower cum multi-utility training Simulator at Thakur Village fire station.
  • Purchase of Fire Drone
  • Setting up of Disaster Recovery site for Integrated Command & Control System
  • Purchase of Quick Response vehicles for Mini Fire stations and Municipal wards.
  • Purchase of combined firefighting cum rescue vehicles with Hydraulic Platform and Turn Table Ladder.
  • Purchase of Fire Robots, electric vehicles and replacement of old and outdated vehicles.

Upon closer inspection of the budget, it is brought to light that a Jet-Cool Gel fire extinguisher will be procured in some BMC schools as a pilot project. The primary budget provision for this is INR 2.64 crore. On the other hand, for the Mumbai Fire Brigade in 2021-22, a budget allocation of INR 144.23 crore was made to procure multiple firefighting as well as rescue vehicles and equipment. Similarly, INR 55.23 crore was set aside for the construction and repairing of fire stations.

In the same year, three water vehicles to fetch water for firefighting were brought. In light of the many fires being reported across high rises in Mumbai, a highrise building fire fighting vehicle was also purchased. The concerned department is anticipated to shortly commence construction of a new fire station at Thakur Village, LBS Road, Juhu Tara Road, Mahul Road and Amboli.

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