Fire breaks out in Kannahalli waste processing unit

Published - October 04, 2016 09:20 pm IST - BENGALURU:

Smoke emanating from a Kannahalli waste processing unit in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Smoke emanating from a Kannahalli waste processing unit in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

A massive fire broke out at the Kannahalli waste processing unit on Tuesday morning, damaging properties worth about Rs. 9.5 crore.

A Fire and Emergency Services Department official said the fire is suspected to have started around 4 a.m. It took five fire tenders to put out the blaze by late afternoon. One shed was completely destroyed, but work in the other sheds went on as usual.

“One shed worth Rs. 2.5 crore, where RDF (refuse-derived fuel) was stored, has been gutted. Equipment such as a shredder and baling units worth Rs. 4.5 crore was also burnt. But these were insured,” said Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). He estimated the total loss at about Rs. 9.5 crore.

Mr. Khan also said BBMP has filed a police complaint against the New Delhi-based company responsible for the plant, as they were found to be not maintaining it well. “We have also terminated their contract and will be taking over the plant,” he said.

Build-up of methane, caused by the stocking up of RDF, is suspected to have caused the fire. “This was supposed to be sent to a Kalaburagi cement factory. But even they stopped buying it, though it was a cheap variety of fuel, as the transportation costs were high,” Mr. Khan said.

The unit, spread over 29 acres and with an approximate processing capacity of 500 tonnes a day, has sparked bitter protests by locals in the past.

Channappa, president of the Kannahalli-Seegehalli Kasa Vilevari Horata Samiti, said though the protests earlier this year had brought in top-level officials to the plant, nothing had been done on the ground.

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