Kurla fire: Third blaze in SRA building within a year | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Kurla fire: Third blaze in SRA building within a year

Sep 18, 2023 12:20 AM IST

Chief fire officer Ravindra Ambulgekar said that a defective electric circuit in the duct was the cause of Saturday’s fire, besides which the fire system was not in working condition. However, residents said that the fire could have been averted, as they had apprised the Mumbai fire brigade of the dire state of the electric circuit two months earlier

MUMBAI: The inhabitants of the 12-storied slum rehabilitation building in Kurla West, where a fire broke out on Saturday, were project-affected residents who were rehabilitated from the Tansa main water pipeline in 2017. The 400 families, who used to live in Ambedkar Nagar in Vidyavihar East, were shifted to the SRA buildings from wings A to G, with 94 families in each wing.

Mumbai, India - Sept. 17, 2023: Residents of the Kurla SRA building are living without electricity after a fire broke out in the SRA building on Saturday in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, September 17, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - Sept. 17, 2023: Residents of the Kurla SRA building are living without electricity after a fire broke out in the SRA building on Saturday in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, September 17, 2023. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

This is the third time in the span of one year that a fire has broken out in different wings of the SRA buildings. HT had reported on February 15 how a fire in the C wing of the same building had killed one senior citizen and injured eight people. On Saturday, 43 residents had to be admitted to hospital due to suffocation. Forty of these have been discharged.

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Chief fire officer Ravindra Ambulgekar said that a defective electric circuit in the duct was the cause of Saturday’s fire, besides which the fire system was not in working condition. However, residents said that the fire could have been averted, as they had apprised the Mumbai fire brigade of the dire state of the electric circuit two months earlier.

Pradeep Patekar, an eleventh-floor resident from E wing had written to the fire brigade on the dangers of being exposed to a defective electric circuit but, he alleged, the fire brigade paid no heed to his complaints. Patekar was admitted to Rajawadi Hospital for a day due to suffocation.

“There was a fire in the C wing in February which killed one person,” he said. “In F wing, there was a fire last year. There has been no fire brigade survey ever since we moved here on December 28, 2016, as there is no concern for our safety. We have just been dumped here from Tansa main.”

Shubhash Khurangale, a first-floor resident of building number 7 in E wing said that while many residents were at their relatives’ homes, those still in the building would have to live without electricity for over two months. “We have no option but to live here,” he said. “Senior citizens are unable to go downstairs, as they cannot use the lift.”

Khurangale said that a contractor had given them an estimate of 5 lakh to repair the defective circuit. “Those who live here are domestic house workers who cannot afford this kind of money,” he said. “The firefighting system too is not in working condition. We were better off in the slums on Tansa main, as we had better facilities there and hadn’t seen a fire in 40 years.”

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