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5K CR For Fire Services

New Delhi: Fire services provide a range of services, including search and rescue, evacuation and immediate medical assistance.  There has been considerable increase in the incidents of fire in metropolitan and smaller cities. 

Further, fifteenth finance commission (XV-FC) has also noted that fire services in the country lack resources and are ill equipped to provide adequate fire safety cover to the population.

Therefore, recognizing the need for expansion and modernization of Fire Services, XV-FC recommended a provision of Rs. 5,000 crore for strengthening fire services at the State level.

Therefore, Central Government has launched a “Scheme for Expansion and Modernization of Fire Services in the States” on 04.07.2023 for strengthening fire services in the States. 

The measures included in the scheme provides setting up of new fire stations, strengthening of State Training Centres and capacity building, provisions for modern fire-fighting equipment, strengthening of State Headquarters and Urban Fire Stations, technological upgradation and installation and augmentation of online system etc.  

Fund allocation under the scheme is on cost sharing basis.  While the Centre will provide Rs. 5000 crore to the States for identified activities, the States’ contribution will be of Rs. 1387.99 Crore. In addition, an amount of

Rs. 500 crore, out of the total central outlay of Rs. 5000 crore is available for incentivizing the States for adoption of legal and infrastructure-based reforms.

Fire Service is a State subject and has been included as a Municipal function in the XII Schedule of the Constitution of India under Article 243 (W). It is the primary responsibility of the State Governments to allocate resources for strengthening and equipping Fire Services as per requirements and to take various steps required for safety of life and property of the citizens in the area of their jurisdiction from fire hazards.

Insofar as Central Government is concerned, for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26, as recommended by XV-FC under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), allocation of Rs. 5,000 crore have been earmarked for strengthening fire services at the State level.

This was stated by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.