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BMC committee to probe blaze

The civic body is appointing a three-member committee to investigate the fire at Mantralaya on Thursday. This will be independent of the fire brigade’s own investigation.

Senior officials from the Mumbai fire brigade said, on condition of anonymity, “The committee, which will start work on Monday, will have three members who will investigate the cause of the fire, its rapid spread and the delay in dousing it.” He added that the team will comprise one senior official, who has been an advisor to the Government of India, one advisor to the Maharashtra Government, and a member of the National Fire Service College, Nagpur.

When asked, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte did not wish to talk about the committee. He said, “The fire brigade will carry out its own investigation as per the rules.” A senior BMC official said, “Firemen will question Mantralaya officials about the blaze.”

Officials said 3.18 crore pages of the total 8 crore pages of data had been scanned and backed up in an electronic form till March this year. Forming 10 terabyte of data, the pages belonged to records of critical departments, including urban development (UD), housing, home, general administration and environment. Specifically, 12.5 lakh pages from the UD department, 34 lakh from the home department and 37 lakh from the general administration department had been digitised. It has been struggling to track them.

Meanwhile, at the BMC, restoration and renovation work is in progress and the fire safety norms have been adhered to while doing so, claims the corporation. 

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