Fire At Mumbai Highrise On Wednesday Highlights Procedural Shortcomings: Officials

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 highrises without checking if firefighting equipment can reach the topmost floor.

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Fire At Mumbai Highrise On Wednesday Highlights Procedural Shortcomings: Officials

Mumbai fire brigade ladders can reach only till 90 metres height: Mumbai fire brigade. (File)

Mumbai:  The blaze that broke out on Wednesday at the Mumbai highrise where Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone has a flat, has exposed shortcomings of firefighting equipment.

It has also brought to fore the manner in which permission is given to allow construction of skyscrapers without checking if firefighting 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 highrises without checking if firefighting equipment can reach the topmost floor.

"How can the civic body allow construction of such highrises 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 did the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the fire brigade give permission to build such highrises 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 firefighting 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.

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Shirish Sukhatme, former president of the Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planers Association defended construction of highrises. "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 35000 crore. "The BMC does not have snorkels for highrises. There is a dearth of willpower, not money," he said. 

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