After Tuesday’s fire incident in a building at Cuffe Parade took two people, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) woke up to the issue of rising short-circuit incidents in the city and called for a meeting with major power supply companies — Reliance, Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) and TATA — next week.
Civic officials said the companies will be directed to take preventive and mitigation measures to curb the rising number of short-circuit incidents in the city.
On Tuesday, a major fire incident killed two house helps on the 20th floor of Maker Tower building at Cuffe Parade. Fire officials said that it looks like the fire would have been caused by a short-circuit in the main switch board of the apartment.
According to data accessed by HT, 857 short-circuit complaints were registered by the disaster management department of BMC this monsoon. Of this, 438 were from the island city, 267 in the western suburbs and 152 in the eastern suburbs.
The complaints have doubled in comparison to the 492 complaints received during 2015 monsoon. Officials pointed at a steady increase in the complaints in the last few years.
They added that 90% of fire incidents in the city are caused by short-circuits. Cases of lose and unstructured wiring, tapping electricity through cross-connections is high in the city which needs to be inspected regularly, they said.
Under Section 30 of India’s Disaster Management Act, the local authorities have to keep a tab on vulnerable locations prone to disasters and take preventive measures. A senior civic official said, “We will ask the companies to undertake routine inspections and also slap notices on the buildings that flout the norms. The fire brigade in its routine inspection looks at the internal fire fighting and not the electrical system in the building. The companies must take stock of this alarming situation.”
The official further said that the meeting will be conducted before Diwali as during the festival the city usually notices a higher number of fire accidents.