Hyderabad: Memories of the devastating January fire still smoldering deep in their minds, the Exhibition Society authorities are making sure that there is no repeat of the ugly episode with barely two months left for the Numaish.
The 79th All India Industrial Exhibition, more popular as the ‘Numaish’, had witnessed one of the biggest fire mishaps of the city, with over 300 stalls being gutted and the exhibition being closed down for a few days.
Now, with the expo set to begin on January 1, 2020, the Exhibition Society is constructing two water sumps, each with a capacity of 1.5 lakh litres. Both the sumps will have adequate number of motors and can run with electricity, diesel or battery.
Connecting these sumps, a 2 km-long firefighting water pipeline network is being laid covering the entire Exhibition Grounds and has 80 outlets to ensure water to all stalls. The project of constructing water sumps and firefighting pipelines were taken up with Rs 2.1 crore.
Speaking about works being taken up as part of the preparations for the next Numaish, Health Minister and Exhibition Society president Etela Rajender said a foolproof fire safety system was being installed.
“We have never witnessed a major fire accident like the one in the 79th edition and the property loss was on a large scale. To avoid such incidents in future, all safety measures are being put in place,” he told the media.
It is mandatory for all stall owners to get permission from the Fire Department to erect their shops and also install fire extinguishers, Rajender said, adding that plans were on to provide more gates and widen the existing ones.
“To avoid such incidents, the Exhibition Society is also converting the overhead electric lines to an underground cable system in the entire venue. The cost of laying the underground electric cables is Rs 82.65 lakh,” said B Prabha Shankar, secretary, Exhibition Society.
Apart from water barrels and fire buckets, fire extinguishers will be placed at select spots in the Exhibition Grounds, Shankar said, adding that trained volunteers would be deputed to operate the fire hydrant valves in case of emergency.
Stalls to be reduced
There are close to 2,500 stalls featuring dry fruits, handicrafts, handmade garments, electronic gadgets and several other goods.
However, the 80th edition of Numaish may not have these many stalls given the space constraints.
According to the Minister, from the next edition onwards, attempts were to accommodate some space for entertainment for children. “We would like to bring some changes to attract more visitors to the exhibition,” he said.
Place for cooking
According to the Exhibition Society, stall owners are restricted from using gas stoves for preparing food near their stalls. Instead, a common place would be provided for cooking to avoid fire accidents.