Mumbai hotel fire: Locals complain of stench

After witnessing a tragic fire, the residents of Mathuradas chawl in Kurla were grappling with an unusual problem. Residents of the chawl, located near Hotel City Kinara, complained of a foul smell since the day of the fire. The smell was emanating from the food stored in the restaurant, which was lying there rotting since the day of the fire.

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Residents of Mathuradas chawl, complained of a foul smell emanating from City Kinara
Residents of Mathuradas chawl, complained of a foul smell emanating from City Kinara

Although officials from the local ward office had come there to spray pesticides on Tuesday, they were not allowed to do so since the place was sealed by the police. Residents then wrote a letter to the BMC, after which action was taken on Wednesday afternoon.

“We started getting such a strong smell since that day that it became unbearable. It would not smell the entire day but at specific hours, like evening. We wondered if any burnt flesh was rotting inside,” said Ravindra Chandavde, a resident of Mathuradas chawl.

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“My house is located right behind the restaurant. The stench was strong. I wondered how the policemen on duty bear it,” said Indu Bhoir, another resident. The residents then undertook a signature campaign on Tuesday and submitted a letter to the L ward office for the same.

Immediately that evening, officials from the ward’s pest control department came to the spot with a bag of pesticides but since the restaurant had been sealed, they had to go back. Residents then approached the investigating officer, police inspector Suryakant Jagdale from V B Nagar police station and put forth their grievance.

The police then allowed the BMC to undertake cleaning. Thus, on Wednesday, the restaurant was cleaned of all food and pesticides were sprayed there to keep it from smelling. Local residents Varsha Sapkal and Suvarna Chandvade confirmed that there was no smell anymore.

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Talking about the incident, L Ward Assistant Commissioner Prashant Sapkale said, “The police had taken over the spot since Friday. But Jagdale called me and said he needed help with cleaning. Generally we don’t clean the insides of private premises but we made an exception this time.”

When asked about the delay, Pravin More, senior police inspector of V B Nagar police station said, “If citizens were facing so much trouble, they should have approached us. Even if a spot is sealed, the seal can be opened and a panchnama can be done again.

On Tuesday evening, our guards confirmed to PI Jagdale about the foul smell, after which he summoned BMC officials on Wednesday. Now the area has been cleaned and re-sealed.”

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