This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Rebuilding and remembering: Fire prevention awareness programme held in four Dzongs

It has been eleven years since the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong was tragically destroyed by a fire. However, it has been rebuilt from scratch and a new Dzong now sits atop the ridge where the old Dzong once stood. To remember the tragedy, the Department of Culture and Dzongkha Development organised a programme to raise awareness about fire risks and prevention measures in four Dzongs across the country including Punakha Dzong yesterday.         

Punakha Dzong has sufficient firefighting equipment in place. However, the officials from the Department of Culture and Dzongkha Development say there is a need to install an addressable fire alarm system in the Dzong.

Today, there are only conventional fire detection systems in Punakha Dzong.

“In a conventional system, we cannot easily locate the actual place of fire outbreak. But with an addressable system, we can easily detect and identify the specific place of fire outbreak without taking much time. Therefore, there are only conventional systems in place today. Of course, a conventional system will help the firefighters, but it will take a bit longer to locate the initial source of fire outbreaks,” said Tenzin Namgyel, electrical engineer of the department of culture and dzongkhag development.

“This awareness programme is conducted in line with Punakha Dzong Management Plans. As per the management plans, we are mandated to have one plan for disaster management. We found out that there is enough firefighting equipment here. If not for a major disaster, the Dzong otherwise has almost all the firefighting system ready,” said Kunzang Tenzin, deputy executive engineer of the department of culture and dzongkhag development.

For firefighting purposes, Punakha Dzong has a water tank which can store 450,000 litres of water with enough water hydrants. There are around 550 conventional smoke detectors inside the Dzong. Likewise, there are also portable water pumps to draw water from the nearby river.

However, the Dzong’s Security Officer says some more firefighting equipment is required in the Dzong such as fire protection dresses and additional portable water pumps. He also plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the district administration to ensure fire safety.

“We have to fix the responsibility, as police alone cannot tackle fire-related issues. If everyone takes care of the fire, there would be no disasters. So, we want to give this responsibility to everyone. We need to draw an MoU soon,” said Captain Tshewangla, dzong security officer.

The Department of Culture and Dzongkha Development also conducted similar programmes on the same day in Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Lhuentse Dzong and Dagana Dzong. The Department plans to conduct such programmes every year on 24th June in all districts in the future.

Changa Dorji, Punakha

Edited by Kipchu