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EghtesadOnline: About 5% of Tehran Municipality’s budget are allocated to urban development and crisis management.

The capital city’s expenditures fall into five main categories: transportation and traffic, which receive 60% of the total municipal budget; social and cultural activities (10%); urban services (25%); and last but not least urban development and safety/management crisis, which are entitled to a combined 5% of the total budget. 

Tehran Municipality allocated less than 1% of its 178-trillion-rial ($4.45 billion at market exchange rate) budget for Tehran Fire Department this year (started March 20, 2016) whereas according to TM chief, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and other city officials, the department is in need of modern fire apparatus and emergency equipment. 

Even worse, over the past years, it received less than 50% of the approved budget, according to Financial Tribune. 

“Last year (March 2015-16) only 400 billion rials ($10 million) out of the planned 1,200 billion rials ($30 million) budget for Fire Department were realized,” Ana News quoted Tehran Councilor Alireza Dabir as saying back in May. 

“Only three missions have been assigned by the law for the fire department,” another councilor, Masoumeh Abad, said. “But today there are 50 missions on the list of firefighters’ duties, including suicides and the like. About 5,510 billion rials ($137.75 million) should be spent on upgrading firefighting equipment.” 

Last week, Qalibaf submitted Tehran’s budget bill for the upcoming 2017-18 fiscal year, which begins in March, to the Islamic City Council of Tehran. The total amount of the budget is 184.89 trillion rials ($4.62 billion at market exchange rate), which is 3.4% over the budget passed into law for the current year. 

This is the third consecutive year the capital city’s budget is expanding at a single-digit rate, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported. 

Iranians are grieving the tragedy caused by an inferno that burned down a high rise in downtown Tehran on Thursday.

Plasco, a 17-floor commercial high-rise with close to 560 production units and sales outlets producing apparel, shoes and sportswear, caught fire on Thursday morning and collapsed at around 11:30 a.m. 

The precise number of casualties has yet to be officially released. Many of the firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze are missing.

The damage has been estimated at 15 trillion rials (over $390 million), according to the head of Iran Chamber of Guilds, Ali Fazeli.

Tehran municipality Iran firefighting Tehran firefighting