BENGALURU: Yet another fire incident occurred at the highly polluted Bellandur lake on Friday, as the grass on the lake bund caught fire and spread to a large area. The Fire and Emergency Services personnel, along with 5,000 armymen from two units of the Army Supply Corps were trying to douse the fire until Friday evening.
According to official sources, thick smoke from the fire was first noticed around 10 am, following which residents alerted the authorities. The fire broke adjacent to an army camp at Iblur and also spread to defence land. As per a BDA release, defence personnel, Fire force and BDA officials reached the spot at 11 am but struggled to reach the location of the fire.
After the fire was doused around 12.30 pm, another fire started nearby and spread rapidly. It kept raging until late evening and was brought under control around 8 pm. No loss to life or property was reported. “As the fire tenders could not reach the spot, they had to manually douse the fire using buckets,” said Sonali Singh, a resident of Bellandur. At noon, officials of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) asked the army officials of the camp for assistance, following which about 5,000 jawans from the Iblur camp and the ASC camp led by Major General Rajpurohit, Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor of ASC Centre and College, joined the efforts, according to a Defence spokesperson. A statement said the fire had reached up to the perimeter of the army camp.
Officials of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority also visited the spot. Chief Executive Officer of KLCDA Seema Garg said the fire was started by locals to burn the dry grass and facilitate new growth. Local residents and experts, however, said the colour of the smoke emanating from the fire indicated burning of chemicals.
BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh said, “The fire might have been caused due to a chemical reaction in the water or by a local either accidently or intentionally. It was a massive fire with an extent of about 800-1000 acres.”