PMC plot used as dumping ground goes up in flames

Updated: Nov 05, 2014, 09:39 IST | Akshay Badwe |

What caused the fire is yet to be ascertained, but locals claim that it was due to the dumping of discarded materials by the corporation’s staff after their anti-encroachment drives

A vacant plot belonging to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), near Eisha Empire society on Handewadi road in Hadapsar area, caught fire yesterday morning. The exact reason behind the fire has not yet been confirmed but locals allege that it was due to dumping of discarded material like wooden pallets, plastic furniture, cable wires, cardboard sheets and flex banners chucked by the corporation’s employees after anti-encroachment drives.

Hadapsar fire
Up in flames: Investigators are looking for clues at the site to find out what caused the fire

The fire brigade received the call regarding the fire at 11.15 am, after it came to the attention of the residents from the society. Three fire tenders from the Hadapsar, Katraj and Central fire stations were immediately deployed to douse the fire. Meanwhile, the locals attempted to contain the flames as well.

Hadapsar fire

Social activist Anoop Avasthi, a resident of Eisha Empire society, said, “Some of the residents suffered minor injuries while trying to put out the fire before the fire tenders arrived. The vacant land is owned by the PMC and has become a dumping ground for discarded waste materials.”

“The reason the fire spread quickly was because of the presence of flammable waste materials like wooden pallets, plastic furniture, cable wires, cardboard sheets and flex banners, which were discarded by the corporation’s employees after their anti-encroachment drives against illegal stalls and shops,” Avasthi added.

A letter has been submitted to the PMC to take effective measures against the disposal of such waste. “Not paying heed to our repeated requests, the PMC has continued piling the waste, which finally went up in flames,” Avasthi alleged.
Shivaji Chavan, station duty officer of Hadapsar fire brigade station said, “It took several hours to bring the fire under control, and the exact reason of the blaze is unknown. Investigators are still looking for clues at the site.”

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