The state government has sought Rs 44 crore as financial assistance from the Centre for strengthening fire services in the state.

Informing this on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Home (Police) Prestone Tynsong said the decision was taken after the recent massive fire incident at Khyndailad.

“We have submitted a proposal to strengthen and bring (up to date) equipment. The proposal was to the tune of Rs 44 crore,” he said.

Tynsong said he also met the secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and have apprised him of all these things. According to him, the need for small fire tender vehicles has also been included in the proposal.

The state government had also recently decided to come up with a fire safety policy and standard operating procedures (SOPs) after the fire at Khyndailad building, which claimed one life, on October 14.

The person identified as Sampath had died of suffocation. He was in the godown to pick up material for delivery along with a porter. While the porter left, Sampath remained behind and was soon trapped in the building after the fire broke out thereby suffocating him to death.

Fire tenders were pressed into service upon being notified, but the narrow alleys and congested surroundings proved a major challenge for the tenders to reach the location in close proximity.

Further, Tynsong also informed that he had recently met the secretary of DoNER on issues pertaining to delay in releasing of funds for the various projects in the state.
“There are projects for example like the science and commerce college at Mawphlang where contractors had to stop (the work) due to not getting payment. Then other projects including road projects where we have not got second installment or third installment. Such issues were discussed,” Tynsong said while adding that the secretary was requested to speed up the release of the installment to different departments of the Government of Meghalaya.