‘The fire at Girgaum Chowpatty started due to inflammables kept under the stage.’ This statement was made by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar at a function hosted by the Mumbai Fire brigade on Wednesday. The function was organized to commission 16 new fire engines into service. When asked what action will be taken against Wizcraft, the contractor company, Shelar said that that will be decided after the probe report is out.

Ashish Shelar

The brigade on Wednesday evening hosted a function to commission 16 new fire engines into service. However, they will not add to the existing number of engines since they have been brought in as replacement. The 16 engines will be stationed at 16 different fire stations. These engines are fitted with multi-pressure fire pumps with a capacity of pumping 3000 litres of water per minute if operated at 8 kg/cm square pressure and 300 litres per minute at 35 kg/cm square pressure. Besides, the brigade has, for the first time, brought in vehicles with fully automatic engine management system that will reduce the load on drivers during peak hours.

The system will give better mobility to the vehicle in peak hours. The 16 engines were commissioner at the hands of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Shelar, Industries minister Subhash Desai and other dignitaries. While the Mayor lauded the efforts of the brigade in various crises, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta announced that new gymnasium facilities and new mini fire tenders will be brought in to upgrade it. The latter will help engines reach narrow spots in lesser time. Thackeray too praised the brigade saying that their contribution to the city’s safety is unparalleled.

In his speech, Shelar said that the citizens of Mumbai deserve to know the cause behind Sunday’s fire at Girgaum chowpatty. “The fire at Sunday’s event destroyed the function. A major tragedy was averted but the people of this city deserve to know what caused the fire. I have found out that the fire took place because of inflammables stored under the stage.”

Although Shelar refused to divulge the source of his information, he later said that “Wizcraft will be punished” after detailed enquiry. mid-day contacted Wizcraft in the matter. Their comment is awaited.