Maharashtra government orders enquiry into Aarey fire

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Maharashtra government orders enquiry into Aarey fire

According to the fire department, the fire erupted on a private land near the forest area which spread like wild fire.

Maharashtra government has ordered an enquiry into the forest fire which errupted on Monday (December 4) evening on a hill at Mumbai's Aarey Colony area near Goregaon East in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Environment minister of Maharashtra, Ramdas Kadam, today (December 6) asked Mumbai Police to examine the reasons for the fire and has also promised action against anyone found to be culprit behind the havoc.

According to the fire department, the fire erupted on a private land near the forest area which spread like wild fire. Around the area where the fire had erupted, a board saying "private property" stands undented in the blaze.

It took over 12 hours for the fire to be brought under control. However, not taking any chance, the fire department deployed 11 daily wage earners to look out for any smouldering and see to it that it's cooled down immediately. Armed with sticks and water bottles, the men were walking around the area.

Shiv Sena corporator Tulsiram Shinde, who was with his people at the sight of incident on Monday, said, "It is an extremely difficult task that the fire brigade handling. Hats off to these men who have been working constantly here."

Activists who have been labouring to save the Aarey area from encroachments alleged that these forest fires were not accidental. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) too got on the bandwagon and registered a protest with large number of party workers gathering in the area.

MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said, "The government has given away such forest land to certain people at a very low cost. To develop these lands these fires are set up and this endangers the lives of tribals living here as well as all those people living in the buildings around the area. We demand an enquiry into this fire. The government should also find out whether the people who have received such lands have used it and if not then all such lands should be taken back."