The Sonsodo waste management shed was again engulfed in fire on Friday morning, as the incident once again caught the Margao officials off guard with no mechanism in place to contain the fire despite an undertaking submitted to the High Court to set up the firefighting system at the site.
In fact, when the fire broke out at the shed, attributed to the generation of methane gas, neither fire extinguishers came in handy to bring the fire under control nor there was any water pipeline to keep the dry waste wet to contain the spread of fire.
In fact, it was left for the Margao fire brigade to bring the fire under control by spraying around 12,000 litres of water in a two-hour long operation.
The fire brigade managed to contain the fire and the smoke billowing from the waste management shed, but it has left a host of questions for the Margao city fathers and the Municipal babus to question over the repeated failure by the civic body to set up the fire safety mechanism.
In fact, at one of the hearings in the PIL writ petition filed by the Citizens for Sonsodo, the Margao Municipal Council had given an undertaking to the High Court to set up the firefighting mechanism within one month. The civic body, however, was caught napping after the Sonsodo shed was engulfed by fire over a month ago, exposing the MMC over its failure to put the mechanism in place.
When The Goan called up the MMC officials to shed light on the delay in putting the firefighting mechanism in place at Sonsodo, an official pointed out that the civic body had earlier this month tendered the work, but there were no takers for the project.
The MMC, officials said, has again re-tendered the work estimated around Rs 8.93 lakh to set up provision for firefighting such a provision for fire hydrants, water pipeline, etc at Sonsodo. “We now hope that bidders will submit their bids so that the work is taken up at the site at the earliest,” the official said.
Questions, however, are being asked as to why the civic body cannot make a simple provision for supply of water to the waste management shed by repairing the existing hose to keep the piled up waste wet. “The only way to keep the fire and smoked inside the waste management shed under control is to continuously keep the waste wet by spraying water. We have noticed that the fire and smoke inside the shed is due to the generation of methane gas, which can be kept under control by spraying water over the dump,” remarked a fire officer.