A fire broke out inside the Parliament House complex on Sunday afternoon, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky. No one was injured in the incident.
Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said the fire started in a chamber housing air-conditioning components near Gate 5. According to fire officials, maintenance work in the chamber led to the fire. “Workers were welding some equipment. Wires, insulation and PVC material caught fire from the sparks. The dense smoke was caused by the burning of plastic material, so it seemed a major fire had broken out. In fact, it was a minor one,” A K Sharma, director, DFS, said.
This was the second incident of fire in the same area inside the Parliament House complex in less than a week. On March 19, a minor fire broke out in the air-conditioning complex.
The home ministry sought a report from the DFS, the Delhi Police, the Central Public Works Department and the New Delhi Municipal Council. The ministry has asked them to explain the reason behind the fire, lapses, if any, and action taken to prevent such incidents in future.
President Pranab Mukherjee expressed concern over the incident on Twitter. “Complete safety and security of Parliament Complex must be ensured at all times,” he tweeted. “Authorities concerned should take necessary steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”
The main Parliament House, where legislators sit, is far away from where the fire started, police said. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had broken for a month-long break on Friday.
“We are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken after the conclusion of the inquiry,” Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) M K Meena said.
The DFS said it received a call around 2.20 pm that a “major fire” had broken out inside the Parliament House complex. Within minutes of detecting the fire, officials alerted the fire department on the premises, who then called the fire station in Connaught Place. Police and CRPF personnel cleared the roads around the complex immediately.
“Eleven fire tenders were dispatched immediately and a deputy fire officer was also sent to supervise operations. It took around 10 minutes to bring the fire under control and the flames were doused by 2.50 pm. No casualty was reported,” Sharma said.