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Mumbai High-rise Blaze Exposes Fire Brigade's Equipment Shortcomings

The fire brigade team's inability to reach the 33rd floor of the BeauMonde residential tower in Central Mumbai's Prabhadevi area, has raised questions over the civic body's nod to allow construction of high-rises.

PTI

Updated:June 13, 2018, 10:33 PM IST
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Mumbai High-rise Blaze Exposes Fire Brigade's Equipment Shortcomings
Firefighters tackled a huge blaze that broke out at Beaumonde Towers in Mumbai’s Worli area. (Reuters)
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Mumbai: The blaze that broke out on Wednesday at the Mumbai high-rise where Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone has a flat, has exposed shortcomings of fire fighting equipment.

It has also brought to fore the manner in which permission is given to allow construction of skyscrapers without checking if fire fighting equipment could reach such heights.

The fire brigade team's inability to reach the 33rd floor of the BeauMonde residential tower in Central Mumbai's Prabhadevi area, has raised questions over the civic body's nod to allow construction of high-rises without checking if fire fighting equipment can reach the topmost floor.

"How can the civic body allow construction of such high-rises when the fire brigade isn't equipped to reach up to the higher floors," Shiv Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar said.

"I fail to understand how the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the fire brigade gave permission to build such high-rises when they lack ladders or snorkels to reach top floors," he said.

A senior fire brigade official attributed the inability to reach top floors of the skyscraper to lack of proper equipment. "Mumbai fire brigade ladders can reach only till 90 metres height," he said. "There are plans to use fire fighting robots," he added.

"There is a tower in Tardeo which is 254 metres high and has 61 storeys. One can wonder what would happen if a fire were to break there," he said.

Shirish Sukhatme, former president of the Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planers Association defended construction of high-rises. "What is needed is more sprinklers, smoke detectors and block-free staircases," he added.

Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said the fire reflects poorly on how the Sena-BJP combine runs BMC, which has a budget of Rs 35,000 crore. "The BMC does not have snorkels for high-rises. There is a dearth of willpower, not money," he said. ​
| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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