Although the fire was doused immediately, it damaged ten privately-owned vehicles.
Mumbai: Around 100 vehicles are lying unclaimed in the state transport’s Kurla depot, posing a big security threat. In a recent incident Sunday afternoon, ten of these vehicles parked in the depot caught fire and the officials believe that drug abuse in the empty buses was most probably the cause of the fire.
Although the fire was doused immediately, it damaged ten privately-owned vehicles and till now, none of the owners have turned up. The vehicles were seized by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and parked in the depot premises.
“A part of the depot land has been leased out to the RTO for parking the vehicles seized by them. The RTO is only responsible to clear the vehicles regularly from the depot as they not only occupy depot land but also pose a big security threat,” said G. Bacchav, depot manager.
“There are regular incidents of thefts of several parts of the seized vehicles and drug abuse by nearby slum dwellers. The RTO is regularly informed about this. There are only two security guards and it becomes difficult to keep a tight watch,” said other officials.
While, Purushottam Nikam, officer from Wadala RTO, said, “When we seize the vehicles, the memo says that it will be the full responsibility of the owner. For many court cases are underway while sometimes, the owners never turn up. We regularly auction the vehicles. However, for the security of the area, the depot officials are responsible.”
About what caused Sunday’s fire, Nikam said, “It is most probably due to drug abuse in the empty buses. The RTO officers have visited the spot Monday and investigation with the help of local police will be carried”.