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RTI activist alleges sabotage in Mantralaya fire

Saturday June 23, 2012 08:36:57 AM, IANS

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Mantralaya fire continues second day

The fire in the Maharashtra Mantralaya or secretariat which claimed two lives, and injured over a dozen more here continued Friday morning 

Two killed, 16 injured in Mantralaya fire, blaze under control

Mumbai: A prominent Right to Information activist, alleging negligence and non-implementation of norms, Friday urged the Mumbai police to investigate a sabotage angle to Thursday's Mantralaya fire which claimed five lives.

In a letter to the head of Marine Drive police station and Mumbai Police commissioner Arup Patnaik Friday, Athak Seva Sangh chairman and RTI activist Anil Galgali demanded that the police lodge cases against officials of the Public Works Department and General Administrative Department for negligence of fire safety audit norms which resulted in the major fire.

"The fire safety audit was done in 2008 and a report was submitted to the state government Sep 29, 2008. It had listed 32 risks, including civil and electrical defects, encroachment due to parking of vehicles in the mandatory open spaces around the building, files and old records strewn on the floors, storage of scrap material on all floors, and cylinder used for cooking on mezzanine 5th and 6th floors," Galgali told IANS.

Alleging that the seventh floor constructed on Mantralaya was illegal, Galgali said a full-scale probe would reveal the entire truth in the matter and the causes leading to the fire, which has paralysed the state administration.

He said the state government did not heed the fire brigade department's warning in 2008, and also ignored a reminder in 2010 after a fire gutted a large part of the Goyal Shopping Centre in Borivli, north-west Mumbai.

"Moreover, the sections which have burnt down had important information pertaining to RTI queries made by many activists. Now, the government will have an easy escape route by saying all official records are lost in the fire," Galgali contended.

Besides the crime branch investigation ordered by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Galgali demanded a probe with the sabotage angle in mind and that the officials responsible for the lapses in the PWD and GAD departments should be booked.




 




 


 

 

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