28 July 2016

Steps to prevent fire at ammunition depots

Jul 20, 2016 

Steps to prevent fire at ammunition depots

Due to delay in procurement / recruitment, the deficiencies of 23 fire fighting trucks and 362 personnel exist in ammunition depots of Indian Army.

Ammunition is stored in permanent accommodation. However, due to operational and other local exigencies, some ammunition is stored in temporary sheds. The only major fire incident in ammunition depot during last three years has occurred in Central Ammunition Depot, Pulgaon on 31st May, 2016. There were 19 fatal and 17 non-fatal casualties, and the total loss of equipment and stores as per preliminary estimation is approximately Rs.7.90 crores. On the basis of the recommendations of Court of Inquiry and subsequent deliberations with all stakeholders, the following has been approved by the Government in order to prevent recurrence of such incidents:-

• Disposal of all defective segregated mines (Anti-Tank Mines 1A ND) for exudation of TNT, held at various locations will be undertaken by Army Headquarters (AHQ).

• Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will replace or repair the defective ammunition within three months.

o Army Headquarters in consultation with all stakeholders will finalize the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs’) for:

o Disposal of defective ammunition in fixed time frame, and

o Fixing up responsibility for defect and regularization of loss.

• Department of Defence Production (DDP) in consultation with all stakeholders will prepare a SOP for handholding of Production Agency by the Designer till production stabilizes.

• Army Headquarters will review the security (including surveillance) and fire safety arrangements at all ammunition depots.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shrimati Renuka Chowdhury in Rajya Sabha today.

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