Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam Tuesday demanded a probe into the massive fire near the Aarey Colony forest in suburban Goregaon to ascertain whether it was a mere accident or pre-planned. He claimed that the inferno destroyed vegetation on nearly 60 acres of land in the area.
The blaze had erupted Monday near the Aarey Colony forest, triggering an alarm as various agencies scrambled to douse the flames that threatened to affect the tribal residents in the city’s biggest green lung. Mumbai’s famous Film City occupies part of the colony, which is located off the Western Express Highway.
The fire tenders took about six hours to douse the flames which were aided by winds coming from the hills. Kadam said the Forest Department should conduct a probe into the incident. “I am doubtful about the causes of the fire that destroyed vegetation over 60 acres of land. It should be probed whether it was an accident or someone purposefully set it ablaze,” he told reporters.
“The forest department should initiate an inquiry into the incident. I am going to raise the issue with Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar,” Kadam said. Aarey Colony, which is spread over 16 square km, includes 12 villages.