More than a dozen firefighting jobs are being cut in the country’s biggest state, Kerala, as part of an attempt to stem a sharp decline in the state’s job market, according to data released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA).
The government, however, has not disclosed the reasons behind the decision.
The announcement comes after a sharp drop in the number of fire fighters working for the government.
According to the data, the number fell to 1,873 in the April-September period, compared to 1.6 million in the previous fiscal.
A total of 2,938 fire fighters have been lost since the last fiscal, while another 1,095 have been sacked.
This year, the state government is expected to lay off 1,000 more fire fighters, with the rest being retained.
The government also announced plans to make it easier to dismiss fire fighters by reducing their working hours.
A similar number of new fire fighters will be hired this year, according the government, but the numbers of new firefighters are not known yet.
The job loss is likely to cause further hardship for the state, as firefighting has become a significant employer in the city of Kozhikode, which accounts for almost 50% of Kerala’s population.
A fire in a residential building in Kozhicket, Kerala.
Photo: Ajay Srivastava/Reuters”The situation has been worsening due to the lack of skilled personnel.
Our goal is to restore the fire department to its former glory and restore the quality of fire services, but there are no immediate plans to hire additional fire fighters,” said Pramod Prakash, the chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of India.
The state government has also announced the creation of a National Fire Protection Authority, with its head appointed by the president, which will be responsible for implementing the government’s policies to improve the state firefighting sector.
The new body will have an annual budget of about Rs.10 crore, and will have full authority to appoint a president, make policy decisions and appoint its own officials.