MUMBAI: As many as 295 fires have erupted in Mumbai since the devastating blaze in Kamala Mills Compound on December 28, according to official records of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation released on Monday.
Accessing the BMC data on all fires in the city in 60 days between December 29, 2017 and February 28, 2018, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said the figures clearly point at "negligence" on the part of the BMC and urged direct intervention of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the alarming matter.
"I have been constantly demanding a proper investigation into the Kamala Mills Compound fire of December 28, last year, in which 14 persons were killed, but that has not happened.
"Shockingly, now it is the BMC's own data on the number of fires since then has exposed its continuing casual approach which has made the country's commercial so unsafe," Nirupam said.
"The BMC's figures show that there were an average of around five fire incidents daily, many with fatalities, in the past 60 days since the December 28 blaze in the Kamala Mill Compound, totalling to a staggering 295. This stunning data proves that the fire department of the BMC has virtually gone 'defunct' now," he added sharply.
Worse, he said, was the fact that the civic body has not yet learnt its lessons from so many blazes and "Mumbaikars continue to live on a razor's edge" as the fire department is not interested in securing the lives of the people.
Attacking the civic body ruled by the Shiv Sena, Nirupam pointed out that if proper and timely safety checks had been conducted, and if the BMC "was not as corrupt as it is", then such fires would not occur with such shocking regularity.
Questioning the efficiency of BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, the city Congress chief reiterated that the probe into the Kamala Mills Compound fire should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"Since it is being handled by the BMC Commissioner, how will the truth ever come out? We want to know if he will suppress the truth about that incident and hide the frequency of these fire incidents," he said.
Nirupam urged Fadnavis to immediately intervene into the matter and ensure that Mumbaikars are safe from such incidents.