Fire at Bhanpur landfill site was intentional, claims BMC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Feb 2018 10:41:03

Staff Reporter

In the preliminary investigation of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) related to the fire incident at now-closed Bhanpur garbage waste dumping site after which huge amount of smoke kept on billowing from the garbage piles even after more than 72 hours, it came to fore that the landfill site was deliberately set on fire by unidentified people who wanted to push down Bhopal city in rankings of Swachhata Survey in year 2018.

Mayor Alok Sharma said that it was found in investigation that it was not an accidental fire because the civic body officials spotted that the fire was set in 24 locations at the site on Monday. It suggests that the closed garbage dumping site was deliberately set on fire. Therefore, a police complaint is must to carry out probe in the case, he said. On Thursday, Mayor Alok Sharma along with BMC Commissioner Priyanka Das and Additional Commissioner met DIG Dharmendra Choudhary and submitted a memorandum demanding FIR in the fire incident. A police complaint has been lodged at Chhola Mandir police station as the incident site falls in its jurisdiction but no FIR has been lodged till the filing of report.

On the other hand, BMC Commissioner Priyanka Das, when asked about notice served by Pollution Control Board to civic body after high pollution level was detected after smoke, said that after the closure of garbage dumping site, the responsibility of Bhanpur Khanti has been handed over to Gujarat-based Saurashtra Enviro Projects Private Limited (SEPPL). Therefore, the company concerned would be quizzed regarding the incident. The samples taken by PCB on Tuesday showed PM10 particles at 307 microgram per cubic metre, while the permissible value is 100.

Notably, even after passing of three days, smoke kept billowing out from the garbage piles and fire kept resurging from various spots at landfill site. Rescue teams were still struggling to contain the blaze, while the wind provided much-needed respite to over three lakh residents in the vicinity as a huge portion of the toxic fumes and smoke were blown away from the residential areas. Director and Principal Secretary of Environmental Planning and Co-ordination Organisation (EPCO) Anupam Rajan, who visited the landfill site on Wednesday, said that the civic body has been asked to install CCTV cameras at Bhanpur Khanti to monitor any suspicious activity in the site and also breakout of fire.