Govt to recommend names of 4 fire officials for bravery award

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The Maharashtra government has decided to recommend names of four fire officials for bravery award to President Pranab Mukherjee, who lost their lives in the Kalbadevi fire incident in May this year.

Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil made the announcement in the Legislative Council today while speaking during the Calling Attention motion moved by NCP MLC Sunil Tatkare.

Another MLC Kapil Patil, supporting the motion asked if the government will give the status of “martyr” to the slain fire officials, who died at work in the massive blaze that broke out in Kalbadevi on May 9.  Replying to him, Patil said a “martyr” status can be accorded to only those who sacrifice their lives on the border.

“But we will recommend the names of all the four fire officials who lost their lives in the incident to the President for a ‘Shaurya Padak’ (bravery award)” Patil said.

Meanwhile, while replying to a query raised by NCP MLC Kiran Pawaskar during the question hour, Patil said Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) will take responsibility of bearing education expenses of children of the slain officials.

He said the government will also consider giving homes to the families of the officers, under Chief Minister’s quota.

“Currently, the fire department has the capacity to fight fire at height of 70 metres.

The MCGM is under the process of acquiring 90 metre ladders so that fire at a greater height can be doused,” Patil said.

The May 9 Kalbadevi fire at Gokul Niwas building killed fire officers S W Rane and Mahendra Desai the same day, after they were trapped beneath debris of the collapsed building for hours.

Deputy chief fire officer Sudhir Amin, who had suffered 90 per cent burns, succumbed to injuries a week later, while fire brigade chief Sunil Nesarikar, who had suffered 50 per cent burn injuries, passed away a fortnight after the incident.