LAKHIMPUR: Though Dhakuakhana was tagged as a full-fledged subdivision of Lakhimpur district, most of the departmental offices under the subdivisional administration do not have adequate manpower.
Almost all offices of the subdivision are still facing shortage of staff, resulting in various anomalies with regard to rendering due service to the public. In this regard, it is frequently alleged that the successive governments had not paid any heed to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people of the subdivision by strengthening the offices with adequate staff to propel the developmental activities in the subdivision and to secure public interest.
The same allegation has been raised against the present BJP-led government and local MLA-cum-State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Kumar Doley because the poor manpower scenario in various departmental offices of the subdivision continues.
As a distinct example of such shortage of staff, the Dhakuakhana Fire and Emergency Services Station is running without the Station Officer, who is mainly responsible for maintaining the office and rendering instant help to the public in the hour of need. This crucial post of the office has been vacant for a long period. One of the two sub-officer posts is also vacant till date. Similarly, there is shortage of leading firemen and firemen in the station. One post of leading fireman out of four and three posts of fireman out of six are vacant.
Notably, a total of 63 fire incidents took place in various places under the subdivision from 2013 to 2018. As per report found from official sources, fire gutted properties worth Rs. 2,09,71,000 during the six-year period. The victim families concerned lost properties worth Rs. 17,86,000 in 8 fire incidents in 2013, Rs. 1,28,19,000 in 12 fire incident in 2014, Rs. 3,58,000 in 10 fire incident in 2015, Rs. 20,27,000 in 15 fire incidents in 2016, Rs. 36,41,000 in 14 fire incidents in 2017 and Rs. 3,40,000 in 6 fire incidents in 2018. The shortage of staff and lack of enough water-carrying vehicles in the Fire and Emergency Services Station are considered to be the root causes of such devastation.
Moreover, the lone station has to cover a vast area of the entire subdivision during fire accident. As a result, the fire extinguishing vehicles cannot arrive at the spot instantly as soon as fire breaks out in remote areas.
Under such circumstances, the people of the subdivision have demanded the State Government and local MLA-cum-minister Naba Kumar Doley to empower the station by filling up the vacant posts and developing its infrastructure with adequate number of vehicles. Moreover, establishment of more fire and emergency services stations in other places under the subdivision has also been demanded.
On the other hand, the number of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel in the Fire and Emergency Services Station is also not adequate. Only five SDRF jawans, equipped with only two rubber boats, are rendering emergency services in the subdivision against 10 sanctioned posts. There are no deep divers among them due to which the station has to await and depend upon the North Lakhimpur Station during emergency.