Fire at Make In India event: Over 50 tonnes of scrap dumped in Kamathipura

BMC brought the scrap to its Kamathipura workshop to keep it away from rag pickers, but it is clueless on what to do with it

While the authorities involved in planning the Make in India week's Maharashtra Night scramble to pass the buck for the ill-fated fire at the event, there is something else they refuse to own up to: the heaps of scrap left behind by the fire. More than 50 tonnes of scrap is lying in a workshop in Kamathipura and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is unsure of what to do with it.

Of the total debris recovered after the fire, around 14 trucks or about 50-60 tonnes were full of metals. PIC/Datta Kumbhar
Of the total debris recovered after the fire, around 14 trucks or about 50-60 tonnes were full of metals. PIC/Datta Kumbhar

The fire, which ruined Maharashtra Night celebrations at Girgaum Chowpatty on February 14, gutted the stage and everything near it. The other trash was sent to Deonar dumping ground the next day.

Anticipating a scramble by rag pickers, the scrap iron was sent away to a BMC workshop in Kamathipura.

A total of 62 trucks, full of debris were recovered. Of this, around 14 trucks or about 50-60 tonnes was metal. The metal mostly includes iron rods called 'angles', used to put up lighting equipments. None of the officials answered questions about what is going to be done with it.

'Had to cut rods'
“We allowed the contractors some time before the debris was removed. We were present at Chowpatty all night. The iron rods were so long that we had to cut them to fit them in the trucks,” informed an official from D ward, under which Girgaum Chowpatty falls.

Around 5 am the next morning, the trucks started departing from the beach. Around 14-15 trucks were sent to the BMC workshop while the rest was sent to Deonar dumping ground. “That morning, I got a call from my head of department saying that the metal will be kept here. We have been told that it is important for investigations and should be kept under security. It will stay here until further instructions,” said Ganesh Ahire, chief of the workshop.

However, there was lack of clarity about what will be done with the metal, whether it will be sold or sent to the dumping ground.

While the BMC's solid waste management department passed the buck on the ward office, the other passed it back to the solid waste management. None of the officials from either department commented on the matter. Additional municipal commissioner Pallavi Darade, under whose purview both departments fall, also did not comment.

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