The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced the “Scheme for Expansion and Modernization of Fire Services in the States” to enhance and upgrade fire services across the country. The scheme is part of the Preparedness and Capacity Building Funding Window under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and has a total budget of ₹5,000 crore.
Out of the total allocation, ₹500 crore has been earmarked to incentivize states based on their legal and infrastructure reforms in the field of fire services. A letter informing the Chief Secretaries and Head of Fire Services of all states has been sent regarding this scheme.
The announcement of the scheme was made by Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah during a meeting with Ministers of Disaster Management from various states and Union Territories in New Delhi on June 13, 2023.
Under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the government is implementing various initiatives to ensure “zero death” and minimize property loss during disasters. These efforts aim to strengthen the disaster risk reduction system in India and make the country more resilient to disasters.
More About the Scheme
The Scheme for Expansion and Modernization of Fire Services in the States is based on the recommendation of the Fifteenth Finance Commission (XV-FC). The commission has proposed an allocation of 12.5 percent from both the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the Funding Window of Preparedness and Capacity Building. This allocation corresponds to 10 percent of the total corpus of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) and the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF). The objective is to utilize these funds for strengthening preparedness and capacity-building initiatives, including the expansion and modernization of fire services in the states.
Objectives of the Scheme
The primary objective is to enhance and modernize fire services across the states. By implementing this scheme, the government intends to ensure that activities for strengthening fire services in the states are effectively carried out, leading to improved preparedness and response capabilities in dealing with fire emergencies.
Funding, Contribution, and Allocation
To avail funds, the respective state governments will be required to contribute a certain percentage of the total project cost from their budgetary resources. In general, the concerned state governments are expected to contribute 25% of the total project cost. However, for the North-Eastern and Himalayan (NEH) states, the contribution required is reduced to 10%. This financial participation from the state governments ensures their commitment and involvement in the implementation of the scheme and the projects/proposals associated with it.
A sum of ₹5,000 Crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) was specifically allocated for the priority area of “Expanding and Modernization of Fire Services.” It is important to note that any liabilities incurred for projects sanctioned against this earmarked allocation should be completed within the specified award period. There will be no provision for spill-over or extension of the award period for such projects. This ensures timely implementation and utilization of funds for enhancing and modernizing fire services as planned under the scheme.
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