(G.N.S) Dt. 20
Undergrowth continues to simmer, army personnel on alert
The massive fire that broke out in Bellandur lake, and even entered parts of defence areas on the periphery of the lake, was nearly doused by Saturday morning. However, as undergrowth continued to simmer, army personnel will be on alert in case this leads to another fire.
The fire, which is suspected to have been started in the grasslands by accident or by purpose to clear out the weeds, had kept over 5,000 army personnel from the Army Service Corps and Iblur Fire range camp on tenterhooks through Friday and Saturday morning.
One army personnel sustained injuries when he was bitten by a snake during the operations. The person is recovering and is out of danger. Talking to mediapersons on Saturday, Lt. Gen. Vipin Gupta, Commandant, ASC Centre and College, said the magnitude of the fire had seen over 5,000 army jawans take part in the dousing operations. “A sentry had spotted the fire on Friday around noon, and we have set drills on what action should be taken. The fire was so big that all in the camp had to be alerted. Around 800 people were working in the spot, while the rest were kept on stand-by,” he said.
While it took the personnel, accompanied by over 15 fire tenders from the army camp as well as two from the Karnataka Fire and Emergency services, four hours to douse the first major blaze, smaller fires continued to break out during the day. At 7.30 p.m. on Friday, a second fire broke out. “Even now there is slight simmering in the grasslands. We will be on a look out today and through the night,” said Lt. Gen. Gupta.
He said the cause of the fire was not known, and iterated that this kind of incident has been happening on an annual basis, including a major fire in February 2017. “We will definitely write (to the State government and Chief Minister) and take up the case. We are told they are taking precautions to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.
(G.N.S) Dt. 20