Pattambi: Every time a fire breaks out or someone drowns, people in Pattambi will wonder, “what if we had a fire and rescue service unit? The discussion will be repeated until the next accident happens.
The demand for a fire unit in Pattambi is several years old. With the construction of a regulator at Velliyamkallu in Thrithala, the number of drownings have increased considerably. By the time fire units from Shoranur and Perinthalmanna, the situation becomes critical.
The nearest fire unit in Shoranur, has to travel for over 20 kilometres to reach the bordering areas of Pattambi taluk.
On Thursday, a scrap material shop in Ongallur caught fire. The blaze intensified as there was a delay in fire unit reaching the spot. The fire unit at Shoranur was occupied at another spot. So, a fire unit from Wadakkancherry was called in. By the time the personnel reached the spot after travelling 25 kilometres, the blaze had intensified and spread. Later, more units from Shoranur and Kunnamkulam reached the spot and put out the fire.
The project to create a fire and rescue service unit for Pattambi has been included in three state budgets so far. However, the project never materialised due to lack of suitable land. The collector himself had intervened to make the land belonging to the district industrial center available for the project. But it is taking longer than expected.
Earlier, there was an effort to secure the land in Mele Pattambi that belongs to central orchard under the agricultural department. But the agriculture department did not grant permission. Efforts to start the project in TB compound belonging to the PWD department also failed to receive permission from officials concerned.
While an ever increasing number of fires break out in the summer, more and more drownings are reported in every rainy season in Pattambi. A dedicated fire and rescue service unit is the only solution.