A major fire that destroyed around 50,000 sq feet of mangroves bordering Dahisar and Mira Road, which was reported late on Wednesday night by locals was extinguished on Thursday by the Mumbai Fire Brigade officials.
Alerted by the Forum and near by residents, Fire Brigade officials at the scene
Harish Pandey, President of New Link Road Resident Forum who has been fighting to save mangroves from land sharks said that he has already sent complaints via email to the State Mangrove Cell seeking a detailed enquiry as the fire clearly seemed to have been lit to clear land. “I also spoke to Assistant Municipal Commissioner BMC R/North Ward Vijay Kamble and he told me that he also has written to the Tehsildar office as well as the Dahisar Police station to conduct an enquiry into the fire,” said Pandey. He said that the mangroves in the area were extremely rich and highly threatened.
According to locals from NL Complex in Dahisar East from where the flames could be seen, at around 9.30pm the entire area was enveloped in thick smoke and it was then that people contacted the police and the fire brigade.
“We got a call at night from locals, but on reaching the site we realised that there was no way to reach the area as it was extremely dark. Our staff along with one fire engine and two water tankers reached the site on Thursday morning. We had to make our way through the mangroves with the help of BMC staff to reach the affected site,” said a fire official from Dahisar Fire Brigade. A fire engine from Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation also reached the site.
According to a fire brigade official, they had to station the fire engine and water tankers at NL Complex and then pull the hose and pipes to about 600 meters inside the thick mangroves to reach the area that was engulfed in fire. “Our staff reached at around 10.35am on Thursday and managed to extinguish the fire till noon. The fire seemed to have affected an area of 50 X 1000 sq feet,” said the fire brigade official.
Local Councillor Sheetal Mhatre from Dahisar who reached the spot on Wednesday night said she suspected foul play and it seemed that the fire was started from the Mira Bhayander side. “We need equipment and facilities to fight such fires, otherwise the city might loose huge swathes of mangroves that can be easily be set on fire at night,” she said.