Shopian: The remnants of fire hydrants, which were installed in south Kashmir's Shopian town several decades ago, evoke the curiosity of the passersby.
The pedestrians usually talk about these defunct objects, partly visible on the footpaths at multiple locations in the town.
“I always wondered after looking at these objects buried neck-deep in the pavements and recently an elderly man informed me that these were fire hydrants,” said 30-year-old local, Basharat Ahmad.
Fire hydrants are installed on the main water lines, which allow the fire fighters connect their hose pipes to the direct water supply during the fire fighting process.
The hydrant system has been in use across the country as well as developed countries to streamline the fire fighting operations.
In Shopian town, the fire hydrants had been installed at Gole Chowk, Bona Bazaar, Old Bus Stand and some other places after a major portion of the town was gutted in 1978.
“While rebuilding the town on modern lines, the government installed the fire hydrants at multiple locations,” said a septuagenarian resident.
However, he said that as the authorities did not take care of this emergency equipment, it got damaged.
“Now you can find only their remnants at a few locations,” he said.
According to an official of the Fire and Emergency Service, the department has only two fire tenders with a capacity of 7000 and 4500 water storage capacity.
“We face tremendous hardships during our fire fighting operations in absence of the major water storage tanks,” he said.
The official said that they sometimes have to look for the streams to draft water by using hard suction hose pipes.
“Hydrants play an important role in the fire fighting process. The authorities should revive these objects,” he said.