Not even one month after a massive fire set ablaze tons of garbage piles at the Brahmapuram waste management plant in Kochi, another similar incident was reported on Friday, triggering panic among staff at the plant.
Garbage piles, including beddings and plastic that were collected after the floods, caught fire at around 1.30pm on Friday. According to officials, the fire was put out soon without much damage being caused.
The fire on Friday was not as massive as the one last month, which engulfed the whole city in smoke and took days to be fully doused.
The fire happened despite the Kochi Corporation officials claiming that they had taken preventive measures against recurrent fire outbreaks. “We had created fire breakers in between the garbage heaps after last month’s incident. But this fire happened among the garbage heap of flood waste. Since the focus was on the larger garbage piles which had caught fire earlier, this one was not being noticed. Maybe, that has created this issue,” Health Standing Committee Chairperson Prathiba Ansari told TNM.
Meanwhile, Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain told media that a probe will be undertaken to determine how the fire broke out even after making security tight at the plant. “We have installed new CCTV cameras, lights and have appointed additional security staff. It is to be enquired still how the garbage piles caught fire,” the Mayor said, while talking to media at the spot.
Sources in Kochi Corporation told TNM that the fire could have happened due to the garbage pile being left dry in the summer heat. “The area at the plant where a massive fire broke out last month was often sprayed with water to prevent fires from the scorching sun. But this part, where the garbage piles of flood was there, was not being moistened,” an official told TNM.
This is the sixth fire that has happened at the plant since January. The massive blaze last month, which lasted for days, had also thrown waste collection out of gear in the city for about a week.