Fire gutted about hundred acres of forested area located near the Poorvanchal hostel area of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on Sunday, police said.
According to police, the blaze was reported from the area located between the Sanskrit centre and the Brahmaputra hostel at around 1:30 pm and there were no casualties during the incident.
“It took five fire tenders more than seven hours to douse the flames which had razed around 14 trees and dead leaves covering most of the ground before it could be contained,” said a senior fire department official on condition of anonymity.
The blaze was aggravated by high temperature, wind velocity and dead leaves giving fire department officials a tough time even as they struggled with paucity of water on account of fire fighting operations underway at various other places in the capital.
“It took most of our resources for fire fighting procedures at Mundka,” said R.C Sharma, Director, Delhi Fire Service.
“We would have been able to control the fire if the university had fire safety measures in place.”
Pradeep Sanghwan (40), Chief Security Officer, JNU said, “Though we are still investigating the cause of the blaze, we believe a carelessly thrown cigarette could be behind it.”
“A similar incident occurred last year, too,” said Pinak Mishra (25) an M. Phil student staying at the Brahmaputra hostel.
“The university has its own 1000 litre water bowser vehicle; but we couldn’t contain this particular fire since the vehicle was unavailable today,” said Sangwan.