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Fire breaks out in Mumbai slum, BJP MLA demands probe

The disaster management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the incident was reported at 11:50 am in Nargis Dutt Nagar slum, located opposite Bandra fire station in Mumbai’s Bandra (West).

mumbai Updated: Oct 30, 2018 21:36 IST
fire,Mumbai,Bandra
Major fire breaks out at the Lalmati slum near Bandra West, nearly 70 houses were gutted in fire.(HT Photo/Kunal Patil)

A massive fire broke out in a slum pocket in suburban Bandra Tuesday but a major tragedy was averted as the hutment-dwellers escaped just in time, a fire brigade official said.

No loss of life was reported in the incident except two women fainting due to shock, the official said.

The exact cause of fire is under investigation, the official said even as the local MLA of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed a cylinder blast for the incident.

The disaster management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the incident was reported at 11:50 am in Nargis Dutt Nagar slum, located opposite Bandra fire station in Bandra (West).

“The flames were put out by 3:45 pm. No loss of life was reported in the incident while two women fainted due to mental shock,” the official said, adding that residents of the slum pocket escaped just in time which averted a major tragedy.

A total of 10 water tankers and 12 fire engines were pressed into service to douse the fire, he said, adding that fast blowing wind created hurdles for the fire personnel.

“A joint team of fire brigade, ward staffers and the personnel of the Mumbai Police was mobilised to douse the flames,” the disaster management cell said in a statement issued earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, local MLA and Mumbai unit BJP president Ashish Shelar suspected that a cylinder blast could have triggered the blaze.

However, the fire official said the exact cause of the incident will be known only through an enquiry.

Shelar demanded a probe into “repeated incidents” of fires in the slum pockets in Bandra.

“I reached to fire at Nargis Dutt nagar! All fire brigade, BMC ambulances, police, traffic police, Tahasildar agency activated! Fire under control. Demanded inquiry why fire always to this slum? Conspiracy? Panchanama started! From 2014 demanding action on illegal floors/ construction!,” Shelar tweeted.

A huge fire had broken out in Behrampada-Garibnagar slum area near the eastern side of the suburban Bandra railway station in October last year during a demolition drive carried out by the local civic body.

Police had arrested a history-sheeter and his son for allegedly starting the fire.

Named after the legendary yesteryear Bollywood actress Nargis, the wife of actor (late) Sunil Dutt, the slum consists of 1,408 tiny shanties, as per rough estimates.

The slum has grown in size over years with many one-plus-one structures being constructed without permissions.

The plot at Nargis Dutt Nagar belongs to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) while the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is the planing agency of the area.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 21:36 IST