Employees hoist tricolour on Mumbai's Mantralaya days after fire mishap
Mumbai, June 24 (ANI): Six employees of the Maharashtra Government's Public Works Department (PWD) hoisted the Indian tricolour on Mantralaya, the building housing the state secretariat for the first time on Sunday, three days after a raging fire destroyed at least two floors.
The fire broke out on the afternoon of June 21 on the fourth floor of the 'Mantralaya' and spread to the sixth floor, which houses the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The workers were seen scaffolding around the building to reconstruct damaged portions of the secretariat.
According to media reports, the six brave hearts, who lowered the tricolour and protected it amidst the blaze, were felicitated in Mumbai.
These employees of the PWD refused to move an inch and waited for two hours on the terrace, until they were given orders to lower the Indian tricolour.
One of the employees, Deepak, said the flag was placed elsewhere for two days, until they received orders to hoist it.
"The day the building caught fire, the flag was lowered. On the second day, we were given orders to fix the flag somewhere else. We placed the flag at the site, where the Chief Minister generally hoists the flag on August 15. Yesterday, we received orders to put the flag atop the building. The seventh floor has been completely damaged; the room where we fold and keep the flag is safe, but it is not possible to stand there, since the heat is unbearable," he said.
Another employee, Mahendra, said that their team first confirmed the situation with the fire brigade and then hoisted the flag.
"We were informed by the fire brigade that we could go up. We went upstairs and checked the condition; we called up a senior official and then hoisted the flag," he said.
The death toll of victims rose to five on Friday (June 22).
Chavan had a narrow escape, as he was in his sixth floor office at the time when the fire broke out. Victims were admitted to a local hospital.
21 fire engines were rushed while rescue teams were also deployed to ensure that the trapped employees are safely evacuated.
Fire safety regulations are lax, rarely implemented and not periodically reviewed in India, which results in the breaking of major fires, resulting in the loss of life and property. (ANI)
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