Fires are a frequent occurrence in the slums of Mumbai, India. These fires can cause devastating destruction and loss of life, as well as displacement of the people living in the slums. The slums are often overcrowded and lack proper infrastructure, making them highly susceptible to fires. Poorly maintained electrical wiring and open stoves are a common cause of these fires.
On 13th March, a tragic incident occurred in Appa Pada, Malad area of Mumbai. A huge fire broke out in the slums of Appa Pada. Several houses were burnt, and several people were injured as well as dead. This tragic incident has left hundreds of people homeless. The fire occurred because of multiple explosions by the cylinders. According to our sources, 20 cylinders exploded. Mumbai Fire brigade were on the scene for several hours, they faced lots of difficulty in putting out fire because of the narrow space in the slums.
Our news team went to the site on 14th March, a day after the incident to know more about it. We got to interview local politician, Promod Jadhav and the people who lost their houses in the fire which broke out on 13th March.
In an interview, Promod Jadhav informed us about the incident, “This is the 4th such incident in Appapada, only the government knows why these incidents aren’t stopping. The houses which got destroyed in fire belonged to poor people who had nowhere to go, these houses mostly belonged to maids, washermen and other low income earning people. The fire broke out between 3:30- 4 pm, when the fire broke out most of the people were at their jobs.” Further in the interview, Promod Jadhav even told us about his friend who lost his house in the fire.
He even lashed out on the lack of responsibility shown by the authorities when the fire broke out, he said “Government authorities are careless, they are corrupt. Many thefts have occurred here. Government authorities didn’t provide the people with permanent houses even after they filled in the form of 7000 rupees.” He later on requested the government to provide permanent houses to the people who lost their homes in the fire, pointing out that he cares for the people unlike any other politician.
Further in the interview, he said “more than 500 houses were destroyed in this fire, more than 6 people are dead so far.” He even lashed at the government for not doing enough for the people, he said “most of the rescue work was done by the locals, the government hasn’t provided enough food and toilet facilities to the people.”
Locals who lost their houses in the fire showed us their frustration by saying, “This incident has occurred for the 3rd or 4th time, the government hasn’t helped us at all, there isn’t enough food, water and toilet facilities for the people who lost their houses in the fire.”
Later a lady who lost her house in fire said, “My daughter lost all of her important documents and the hall ticket of her board exams in the fire, the government isn’t doing enough for us.”
Then we got to know that the government hasn’t provided people who lost their houses in the fire with decent living facilities. People are extremely frustrated with the zero efforts shown by the government, and they are requesting the government to help them as soon as possible.