Firemen live in ‘stables’ | | | Indian Express
Firemen live in ‘stables’
Y Maheswara Reddy First Published : 01 Mar 2010 08:02:33 AM ISTLast Updated : 01 Mar 2010 09:55:25 AM IST
BANGALORE: At the firemen’s residential area in Bangalore South Fire Station it is a sight repeated every other day: around 20 women surround four taps with colourful plastic cans and dull steel vessels of various sizes.
While their men are busy dousing flames across the city with thick jets of water, the women are anxious to see that even the last few drops flowing out of rusted pipes are not wasted. Water is valuable; the taps flow once in two days, only for a few hours. Some had to forgo breakfast to be at the tap, some will skip lunch, others missed college.
Nalina, a PU II year student at NMKRV College, says, “What can I do? My mother has gone to her native place. I did not go to college since there was no water at home. I was not able to collect enough since the flow of water was very slow.” Bharathi, a housewife, said pipes were laid more than a year ago to provide taps in all quarters but water connection is yet to be given. “We are facing acute water shortage here. We have to collect water from the tank adjacent to the road whenever we have no water,” says Bharathi.
Water is just one of their problems.
About 30 families in Bangalore South Fire Station live in one-room quarters that are only slightly bigger than bathrooms in modern apartments.
The 10 feet by 7 feet rooms, used as stables during the British era, now house families.
“We are not in a position to invite our relatives. Whenever relatives come to our homes some of us have to sleep under the cot or even in the kitchen (a makeshift structure outside the room),” says another housewife who did not want to be identified.
However, F R Shariff, Regional Fire Officer, Bangalore South said that efforts were being made to improve the living conditions of firemen.
“We have spent a considerable amount to lay the water pipe from quarters to the road. We have been pursuing the matter with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board officials. If the families of firemen have any other problems they can approach me. I am here to solve their problems,” says Shariff.