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Delhi Adds Robots To Its Firefighting Fleet After City Witnesses Over 2,000 Fire Incidents In May

The robots can be operated remotely from a distance of 100 metres and can be deployed to douse fires in narrow streets, basements, chemical tanks and factories.

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In a bid to make it safer for firefighters, the Delhi government has inducted two robots into the city's firefighting fleet that will be able to navigate narrow lanes and perform tasks that would be too risky for humans.

As per officials, the machines can be operated remotely from a distance of 100 metres and can be deployed to douse fires in narrow streets, basements, chemical tanks and factories. They can even go up the stairs and breakthrough windows, The Indian Express reported.

"Our government has procured remote-controlled fire-fighting machines. Our brave firemen can now fight fires from a safe distance of up to 100 metres. This will help reduce damage and save lives," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

Initially, two state-of-the-art firefighting robots have been purchased from an Austrian firm and inducted into the Delhi Fire Service. Specialised training would be given to the firefighters to operate the robots, India Today reported.

After successful trials, more such machines will be purchased.

Resistible To Fire, Heat And Smoke

Explaining the features, officials said the robot is built using a material similar to an Army tank and can resist fire, smoke, and heat. It is also equipped with a crawler belt above its tires, allowing it to move easily into crowded places and gain access to hard-to-reach spots. A ventilation fan keeps the machine cool.

A high-resolution camera is also installed in this robot, which can show clear pictures despite the presence of fire, smoke, and water around it.

A separate SOP has also been prepared on how, when, and under which circumstances the fire can be controlled.

Home Minister Satyendar Jain said that it is the first time such robots have been introduced in the country with the ability to control fires remotely and will prove to be major trouble-shooters for firefighters.

"These robots will be capable of releasing high water pressure at the rate of 2,400 litres per minute, which means the robot will be able to douse fire even in places which firefighters cannot possibly access," said Jain.

2,000 Fire-Related Incidents In May

Amid blistering temperatures and heatwave, the national capital has witnessed over 2,000 fire-related incidents till May 19, which has claimed the lives of 42 people and injured 117 others.

The Delhi Fire Services received 2,145 fire-related calls, 117 non-fatal cases and 42 deaths in the first 19 days of May, 2022. The fire department said the number of 2,145 incidents is the highest in May till now as compared to the same period in the last three years, NDTV reported.

In the entire month of May last year, the city witnessed 2,174 fire-related incidents, while 2,325 of them were reported in the same month in 2020.

The data showed that 3,297 fire incidents were reported in May 2019.

According to the data, 18 deaths were reported in May 2019, followed by 10 in May 2020, and 41 in May 2021.

Major incidents in May 2022 included the massive blaze that engulfed a factory in outer Delhi's Mundka in which nearly 27 people died and 16 were injured.

Another incident followed this in northeast Delhi's Mustafabad area on May 19, in which a 42-year-old man died and six others were injured.

In another such incident on the same day, a fire broke out at a cello tape manufacturing factory in outer Delhi's Bawana Industrial Area but no casualties were reported in the incident.

Most of the 2,145 fire-related calls were reported from either factories, slum clusters, or commercial buildings.

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Writer : Tashafi Nazir
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