Two single-storey structures constructed using bamboo at the Bamboo Research and Training Centre (BRTC) at Chichpalli in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district, including its administrative office, were gutted in a major fire on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
No casualty was reported in the incident, they said.
Chichpalli village is located around 15 km from Chandrapur city.
"The fire broke out around 3.30 pm on the terrace of the single-storey BRTC building. By the time the terrace fire was doused, it had spread to other structures located on the premises, in which two independent blocks- an administrative office and an exhibition centre- constructed using bamboo were gutted," Anant Bhaskarwar, executive engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD) said.
On being alerted, fire-fighters reached the spot and extinguished the flames. However, the two blocks had turned to ashes by that time, he said.
The district information office said in a statement that as per the preliminary estimate, the damage caused by the fire is in the range of Rs 9 crore to 10 crore.
Bhaskarwar said the cause of the fire is being ascertained.
According to him, layers of fire-resistant material had been used in the structures that were gutted.
A senior police official said that no casualty was reported in the incident.
BRTC is an autonomous organisation formed by the Maharashtra forest department in December 2014 to create self-employment opportunities for local bamboo dependent communities, promote local talent in the field and develop high yield bamboo species through research.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and former state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar issued a statement, in which he sought a CID probe into the fire.
"The incident that occurred at the BRTC is unfortunate. BRTC is an important project started for bamboo promotion in the district. It is necessary to find out the facts behind the incident," he added.
Chandrapur district guardian minister Vijay Vadettiwar directed the authorities to launch an inquiry into the fire.
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