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Fifth incident of fire at Pune’s Ambedkarnagar slum

According to fire safety experts , the PMC must also find out how the illegal hutments received electricity connections and water supply.

pune Updated: Apr 23, 2018 14:50 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,fire incident,Ambedkarnagar slum
Although there were no casualties on Sunday, the fire led to widespread destruction of property in Ambedkar nagar behind market yard in Pune. (RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTO )

The massive fire at the Ambedkarnagar slum in Market Yard on Sunday, is the fifth incident of fire at the slum. The other four incidents occurred in 2016, 2013, 2010, and 1994.

According to fire department officials, it is for the fifth time that the slum has been caught in a massive fire. Although there were no casualties on Sunday, the fire led to widespread destruction of property. Seventy-five shanties were burned down after a short circuit started the fire. The fire was further fuelled by flammable Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) gas cylinders.

Prashant Ranpise, fire department chief, Pune, said that as many as 400 huts had been reduced to ash at the slum in 2013. In a similar incident, 1,000 huts were burnt to ashes at a Hirabaug slum in 2016 and 50 hutments were destroyed in a Mangalwar Peth slum in 2017. Ranpise termed the three incidents as some of the most dangerous incidents of fire breaking out in the recent past.

The fire department has 490 trained people and 13 fire stations across the city with 73 vehicles. However, for a city with over three million residents, the manpower and infrastructure available is woefully inadequate.

According to the current requirement, Pune should have 30 fire stations with over 100 functional vehicles and a manpower of 1,500 trained professionals. According to fire safety experts , the PMC must also find out how the illegal hutments received electricity connections and water supply. Some of the hutments had multiple electronic devices including refrigerators and air conditioners, which were all lost to the flames.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 14:45 IST