Bengaluru Bellandur Lake Fire: How 5000 Army Jawans Fought Blaze, Doused It

21 January, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Bengaluru's Bellandur Lake again catches fire

Lt Gen. Vipin Gupta, Commandant, ASC Centre, said the area where the fire broke out had always been under their watch, given its vulnerability and this allowed them to act fast.

He said they were now trying to ensure that the embers from which the smoke emanated do not reignite due to the wind.

Almost 5,000 soldiers swung into action on Friday after the fire threatened a military area with huge clouds of smoke billowing from the lake filled with sewage, chemical effluents and construction debris and choked with water hyacinth, an army statement said. The water samples will be collected and tested to find the reason behind the fire, he said.

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"Actual cause of the fire is not known.It started from the defence area". The area also has a lot of snakes.

Srinivas said, "We get contaminated water".

Lieutenant general Gupta said this was the first time the blaze had spread to their camp. "We will definitely write (to the State Government and Chief Minister) and take up the case". Firemen at the lake said the situation was "extremely grim".

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But as far as cleaning was concerned "it is a very technical and professional job" for which people were available on the civil side, he added.

In April 2017, the National Green Tribunal had ordered the Karnataka government to shut down all industrial units around the Bellandur lake.

The lake, spread over 3.61 sq km - about 1000 acres - in the suburb of Bellandur in the southeast of the city of Bengaluru, is a part of Bellandur drainage system that drains the southern and the south-eastern parts of the city and is the largest lake in the city.

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Fire department officials are reportedly making concerted efforts to bring the fire under control under the supervision of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) officials. "What is worrying is that the fire is spreading to more places", Seema Sharma, a resident of Bellandur told ET at 9 pm. Reports said the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has been working to remove weeds and is using high-power pumps and coir foam mattresses and other filtering techniques to stop the frothing.

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