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Kotagiri, second place to get Rescue Services Centre

Special Correspondent



Noble mission:Minister for Khadi,

Udhagamandalam: A long-felt need of the people of Kotagiri and surroundings was fulfilled on Wednesday with the inauguration of a Rescue Services Centre of the State Fire and Rescue Services Department.

Inaugurating the centre and flagging off an emergency rescue vehicle, Minister for Khadi K.Ramachandran said that Kotagiri was the second place in Tamil Nadu to get such a facility.

Listing the developmental activities taken up over the past five years in the Nilgiris, he said that for improvement of roads alone Rs. 354 crore had been spent.

Stating that a third scheme had been implemented to augment water supply to Kotagiri, he said that a fourth scheme is in the pipeline.

Director General of Police and Director of Fire and Rescue Services R.Nataraj said that the centre had been set up at a cost of Rs. 40 lakh and the cost of the rescue vehicle was Rs. 50 lakh.

Pointing out that sniffer dogs had become part of the department in 2009, he said that a dog belonging to the Saint Bernard breed which was of considerable use in search and rescue operations, would be stationed at Kotagiri.

The department is in the process of being modernized. Old vehicles are being replaced and smaller vehicles which can be used on narrow roads are being added to the fleet.

While about 630 firemen are in the process of joining the existing 6,600 Fire and Rescue Services personnel, steps are being taken to fill about 730 vacancies.

Revenue Divisional Officer P.Gandhimathi presided. Coonoor MLA A.Soundarapandian also spoke.

The Deputy Director, Fire and Rescue Services, R.K.Jayakanthan, welcomed the gathering. Divisional Fire Officer I.J.Lourthanathan proposed a vote of thanks.

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