Shortage of fire trucks raises concern in Udupi and D.K. districts

08:40 AM May 04, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Udupi and D.K. districts are facing a critical shortage of fire engines, amid a surge in widespread fire accidents, especially during the hot summer season.


This scarcity is affecting 31 districts statewide due to government policies retiring vehicles after a certain period.

This year, Udupi district has seen over 98 fire incidents, while D.K. district has reported more than 100, some with tragic outcomes. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that out of the state’s 400 fire engines, 284 are over 15 years old, no longer meeting safety standards.

The procurement of new vehicles is stuck in bureaucratic red tape, despite previous discussions. This leaves fire stations reliant on aging trucks, some over 30 years old, yet still operational.

Consequently, many stations operate with only one vehicle, and some, like Malpe, have none. Even where multiple vehicles exist, most are non-functional, leaving firefighters struggling to respond to emergencies, resorting to using tank water in some cases.


Fire stations in Ajjarakadu, Malpe, Kundapur, Byndoor, and Karkala in D.K. district, alongside Sullia, Puttur, Belthangadi, Bantwal, Moodbidri, Kadri, and Pandeshwar, are facing a dire predicament. At the Ajjarakadu central station, only one out of the two vehicles is operational. Similarly, in Pandeshwar, merely two out of three vehicles are in working condition.

The rural-urban divide aggravates matters, with rural areas, especially grasslands and forests, bearing the brunt of fire accidents. The delay in procuring new vehicles prolongs this crisis.

Vinayak Kalgutkar / Bharat Kumar, Fire Officer, Udupi and D.K. District said that the officials have been duly notified about the scarcity of fire engines, a process facilitated at the state level. As an interim measure, firefighters are utilizing the limited number of available vehicles. However, the capacity for immediate response is severely strained, particularly when emergencies arise concurrently from various locations. This underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive solution to address the shortage and enhance the firefighting capabilities across the region.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.