LAHORE - The Punjab Emergency Service, Rescue 1122, in collaboration with the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) will conduct a special survey of 2,100 industrial units established in the Punjab Capital within 15 days.

The special teams, comprising fire rescuers (FRs) and lead fire rescuers (LFRs) and the CDGL officials, have been assigned the task. Addressing a special batch of 180 FRs and LFRs at the Emergency Services Academy on Saturday, Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer and DCO Lahore Noorul Amin Mengal urged the officers to accomplish the task on time.

Terming the twin tragedy “9/11 of Pakistan”, the Rescue 1122 director general said: “This was the 20th biggest fire tragedy of the world that needs immediate measures to be adopted to cope with.” He laid stress on adopting fire safety measures. “At least 35 water hydrants have been installed around different imperative installations in the City, whereas the survey will reveal the high rescue zones,” he said, stressing that proper hydrants and exits could save people.

“The Rescue 1122 has played its part in saving goods worth Rs80 billion of different factories, industrial units, government installations and shopping plazas across Punjab since its establishment,” Rizwan said. He directed the FRs and the LFRs to avoid creating panic while inspecting the factories and politely asked the owners to ensure proper exit, hydrants, fire staircase, exits signs and map of the factory or building should also be displayed outside and inside the building.

Mengal said the Emergency Services Institution was a national academy, which had performing well. “Being Balochistan additional finance secretary, I allocated Rs220 million for the establishment of Rescue 1122 in the province, but don’t know what happened after I came to Punjab,” he added. He, however, said the survey teams had completed reports of around 1,641 industrial units of Lahore and the rest of the buildings would be inspected within the 15 days.

The district coordination officer said the factory owners would be asked to ensure fire safety equipment at first step and later, the government would launch crackdown on violators. “Currently, we cannot avoid the incidents like Bund Road factory fire because we lack resources but we are hopeful of cope with such challenges in the days to come,” he added. Emergency Services Academy Administrator Brig (r) Dr Arshad Zia, Provincial Monitoring Officer Dr Muhammad Yahya Butt, Community Safety Wing Head Roqiya Bano Javed and senior officials concerned of the Emergency Department were also present.