Mumbai: Families lose money and valuables in Bandra fire
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the police, raising allegations of foul play and demanding an inquiry
At least 80 shanties were burnt to ashes in a massive fire that broke out at the Nargis Dutt Nagar slum in Bandra West on Tuesday. The situation was aggravated by the explosion of some gas cylinders. BJP MLA Ashish Shelar has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the police, raising allegations of foul play and demanding an inquiry.
The fire broke out around 11.30 am, following which more than 10 fire engines were sent to the spot. Fire officials said that shanties spread over 500 square metres of land were completely burnt down. "Most residents were quick to evacuate the shacks. However, two children trapped in a house had to be rescued by firefighters," said a senior fire official. A couple of people sustained minor injuries and were taken to Bhabha hospital. The source of fire is still unknown.
While no one suffered serious injuries, many residents lost their valuables. Among them was Seema Parvin Shaikh, who was supposed to get married on November 25 in Akola but lost all her wedding jewellery and clothes in the fire. "My brother had borrowed Rs 20,000 for my wedding but everything is now gone," she said.
Mohammed Saleem Qureshi was driving his auto-rickshaw in Bandra East when he got to know about the fire. "My daughter has her Std X exams next year. Without her documents, she won't be allowed to appear for her exams. I had kept aside Rs 10,000 for her school fees, too. All of it is lost," said Qureshi, while repeatedly requesting fire officials to let him into his house.
Seema Parvin Shaikh (right) with her mother
Another Nargis Dutt Nagar resident Aamina Amjad Shaikh, who works as a domestic help at Bandstand, lost Rs 12,000 that she had saved for this month's house rent. "All my documents are also gone," she said.
Shelar, meanwhile, also pointed to the illegal floors of buildings in the slum. "There is definitely foul play. Why else would it keep happening repeatedly?" he said. Shelar added that development of the area is the only solution. A tehsildar will soon conduct a survey of the hutments that have been burnt and appropriate compensation will be given, he informed.
Mohammed Saleem Qureshi (extreme left) with his family
Civic officials from H West ward, however, stated that the land in question belongs to MHADA. "Talks of redevelopment have been going on for 10 years now. But, the slum is located in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). On our part, we regularly take action against illegal floors," said a senior civic official.
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