Mumbai : Don’t be surprised if you spot a Mumbai fire fighter wearing jeans and T-shirt. This may well be the reality as the city fire fighters have not got their new uniforms in last three years. They are planning to protest against this by working without the uniforms 1st January, 2014 onwards.

According to the rules, the firemen are entitled to get two blue shirts, two blue pants, a woollen coat, T-shirt , Pathani chappals, Gumboots, blue cap each year. However, the fire fighters have never been given these in one set. It always came in instalments – sometimes just a shirt, sometimes a pant. Due to this unreliable supply from the authorities, the firemen are compelled to buy the clothing from market.
Speaking to FPJ, firemen said that the clothing provided by Fire Brigade is not of good quality and it often doesn’t fit their size.
The clothing for the firemen is supplied by the contractor, but often, before the contractor comes, the firemen have already bought the clothing from the market. In such a case, the contractor keeps 30% of the price of the clothing to himself and pays 70% to the fireman. This practice is prevalent for a very long time.
About four months ago, Fire Officer A. Bandar was suspended as he wrote a remark in a file that said that the clothes have been delivered by the contractor but in reality the money was paid by the contractor to some firemen without the delivery.
Rajaram Dhuri, Secretary of Mumbai Agnishamak Dal Ladhau Kamgar Sanghatana told FPJ that, “We have sent two letters to BMC Commissioner mentioning that we have not been given uniforms for the last three years. If we don’t get uniforms then we will work without uniforms from 1st January onwards. However, we will not refuse to carry out our duties, it’s just that we will not wear uniforms while on duty. We have support of about 2100 firemen and leading firemen.”

Sachin Unhalekar

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