Vadodara-Bharuch NH-8 stretch not equipped to handle fire mishaps

April 19, 2010

VADODARA: The Vadodara-Bharuch stretch of National Highway-8 is not equipped to handle any major fire incident.

An RTI application has revealed that as per an agreement signed between National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and private operator L&T Vadodara Bharuch Tollway Limited (VBTL),which had bagged the six-laning project of 83.3 km stretch of NH-8 on build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis, L&T VBTL is supposed to provide fire brigade service on the highway. But, the ground reality is that there is no fire brigade service on the stretch, which ironically witnesses highest traffic movement, including vehicles that transport chemicals.

The RTI response that was provided to applicant Yashwant Jangid by NHAI states that as operations part of operation and maintenance (O&M) manual, the operator will have to take care of ambulance, fire brigade and tow away trucks and cranes as rescue and medical aid services. The documents under schedule-L carry stamps of both NHAI and L&T VBTL.

But, an L&T VBTL official looking after accident management of the stretch told TOI that he wasn’t aware about such a clause in the concession agreement. “If there is a fire incident on the stretch, we have handy fire extinguishers. If still the fire does not get extinguished, then we call local police which in turn contacts local fire brigade to do the needful,” the official said.

“L&T VBTL officials interpret that the clause in the agreement is to provide only fire brigade services, which does not mean that the highways should have fire vehicles stationed,” a NHAI official claimed. But, the fact remains that L&T VBTL has never approached Vadodara Fire Brigade and Emergency Services (VFBES), managed by Vadodara Municipal Corporation, to get their service.

“We are supposed to function and provide our services only in municipal jurisdiction of Vadodara. When we cross corporation limits, our services are charged. But, we have series of bills pending which neither the contractor of the highway nor the victims of accidents have paid,” chief fire officer of VFBES H J Taparia told TOI, adding that L&T VBTL has never approached them to sign an agreement for such services.

Incidentally, even on Wednesday morning, VFBES officials had to rush to Dumad Chowkdi from the starting point of Vadodara-Bharuch highway when a truck rammed a tree leaving the driver dead on the spot, while officials extricated a cleaner’s body that was trapped by using hydraulic equipment.

“We handle nearly 35 to 40 calls a year on this part of the highway as nobody is ready to go on that road,” Taparia added.


3 Comments on “Vadodara-Bharuch NH-8 stretch not equipped to handle fire mishaps” Post your comment

  1. guna hitesh on December 14th, 2010 6:50 pm

    job requare

  2. Bhavesh Pathak on May 21st, 2013 4:42 pm

    Why this long queue always happens on NH-8 L&T near Karjan (Bharuch-baroda) toll booth its wasting time of so many people as well as fuel also . What is the meaning of it to be called expressway……

    I am suffering this situation since last two years frequently.

    What is the justification of Fees amount taken by toll.

  3. Manish J shah on February 24th, 2014 11:52 am

    If we send any quay your send mail to us or not

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