Fire department blames unscientific waste disposal for 61% of fires in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: Besides adding to the city’s waste burden, unscientific garbage disposal is also turning out to be a major contributor to the spiralling fire incidents in Bengaluru. Fire brigade personnel confirmed that 61 per cent of the fire incidents reported in BBMP limits are due to unscientifically discarded waste.

With the temperature soaring and the humidity decreasing, fire incidents have increased over the past two months. According to the fire and emergency services control room, they have attended 815 fire calls since January 1 in the city. At least 500 of them involved unscientific disposal of garbage.

Deputy director (technical), fire and emergency services, K Shivakumar, said garbage piled up since morning is being burnt at night. “Most of the calls we attend to come during the night,” he added. Asked whether they have written to the BBMP about it, Shivakumar said no. But he said it’s clearly mentioned in their bylaws.

“We are attending at least 14 calls a day and 9-10 of them involve garbage going up in flames. Most of the incidents happen on the outskirts but there are many reported from inside the city too. We have seen garbage being dumped on the outskirts instead of being taken to landfills. In the city, small vehicles dispose of garbage at vacant sites and by evening, it’s set ablaze. This is not something accidental. They do it just because they need space to dump garbage in the same place again,” fire department sources said.

There have been many instances of garbage having triggered forest fires and grass fires, an official said citing examples of the recent fires on Bangalore University campus and at Marasandra near Yelahanka.

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