486 lives lost, 510 injured in fire incidents in six years in J&K


Property worth Rs 1362.38 crore damaged, reveals RTI

Naveed Ul Haq

Budgam, Mar 25 : Information obtained under the RTI Act has revealed that 486 people have lost their lives and 510 others sustained injuries in fire incidents over the past six years in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to details obtained by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Fire & Emergency Services Department has received a total of 26,354 calls reporting fire incidents from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2023.

An RTI filed by activist MM Shuja disclosed that during this six-year period, 486 people lost their lives, and 510 were injured in various fire incidents. Nine employees/firefighters also lost their lives while performing their duties.

The data further reveals that property worth 20,285.48 was involved in these fire accidents, of which property worth 1,362.38 was damaged, while property worth 18,929 was saved.

Breaking down the figures year by year, it was revealed that in 2018, the department received 5,314 calls reporting fire incidents, resulting in 104 fatalities and 99 injuries. In 2019, there were 4,307 calls with 103 deaths and 105 injuries. In 2020, there were 4,072 calls, resulting in 86 deaths and 58 injuries. In 2021, there were 4,277 calls, with 106 fatalities and 62 injuries. In 2022, there were 5,833 calls, leading to 68 deaths and 140 injuries.

However, the data from 2023 showed a slight improvement, with the lowest number of fatalities recorded in the past six years, with only 19 lives lost and 46 individuals injured, despite the department receiving 4,451 calls regarding fire incidents during that year.

The RTI data also reveals that there are currently 168 Fire and Emergency Services stations throughout the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, catering to the entire region. The Jammu range has a total of 129 fire tenders with a deficiency of 34, while the Kashmir range has 201 fire tenders with a deficiency of 66.

Furthermore, 476 employees retired from the department between 2018 and 31.12.2023, while 734 employees were recruited during the same period.

Regarding the total number of employees working in the department along with the deficiency of staff (Gazetted/Non-Gazetted) as of the present date, the RTI reply indicates that the total sanctioned strength of gazetted staff is 28, with an existing strength of 13 and a deficiency of 15. The total sanctioned strength of non-gazetted staff is 3,610, with an existing strength of 2,321 and a deficiency of 1,289.

In response to a query about fire stations with medical facilities for employees as of the present date, along with details of available medical staff, it was revealed that both the provincial headquarters of Srinagar and Jammu have one medical unit each, with facilities provided by medical officers and para-medical staff on deputation from the Health & Medical Education Department—(KNO)


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