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Margao pump catches fire, but timely action averts disaster


MARGAO: Timely intervention helped avert a major disaster on Saturday evening when the generator set of a petrol pump in the heart of the commercial capital caught fire. The Bharat Petroleum pump run by P G Virgincar, is one of four back-to-back petrol pumps in front of the South Goa police headquarters, adjoining the old bus stand.

Traffic police had a hard time controlling the crowd of onlookers as the pumps are alongside the main road and the incident occurred during peak hours. Fire brigade sources told TOI that the petrol pump did not have the required NOC and that the mandated yearly renewal hadn’t been done either.

Margao Town PI Santosh Dessai said there was no proper ventilation in the generator cabin and combustible materials had also been kept in the small space where the set is installed. Smoke from the fire which raged for a while raised the alarm. An employee of the adjacent pump rushed with fire extinguishers and four of these cylinders were reportedly sprayed to control the fire.

Sand was also used to temper the fire before the fire brigade reached the spot. A pump employee said there was no power since 1pm and the generator was therehazard they pose, the Margao municipal council (MMC) adopted a resolution recently demanding that the four fuel outlets be shifted.

The pumps are run by P G Virgincar, Y R Kurade (Bharat Petroleum), Umesh Keni and Premanand Kavlekar (Hindustan Petroleum).

“We will be writing to the collector about the decision once the minutes of the meeting are prepared,’’ said MMC chairperson Savio Coutinho. The collector had earlier stated that a decision could be taken after the council adopts a resolution over the same. There is also a long-pending concern and demand to shift the pumps. An effort was initiated earlier, but the oil companies wanted an alternative site. More recently, the oil companies came under pressure for the rent paid to the council as the pumps are on municipal land.

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