Senior Civil Judge and Member Secretary of Dakshina Kannada Legal Services Authority Shilpa A.G. said on Monday that prima facie the fire that broke out in the dry waste recycling unit of Mangaluru City Corporation at Pachchanady on Sunday night appeared to be due to negligence on the part of the agency outsourced by the corporation to manage the unit.

Speaking after visiting the spot on an instruction by the State Legal Services Authority, she said that the agency had not taken enough precautionary measures to prevent fire accidents. If it had taken them, the accident would not have occurred, she added.

The exact reason for the fire is still not known, though it is said that it was due to short circuit. There is no proper compound wall surrounding the unit, she said.

The judge said that plastic material worth ₹65 lakh were reduced to ashes in the fire.

Ms. Shilpa said that she visited the spot as the authority instructed her to submit a report on whether the fire created problems to the local people.

During her visit, she sought information on the steps taken by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the city corporation after the fire accident and whether the outsourced agency had followed the required guidelines.

She said that the fire and the smoke that billowed from it created problems to the local people. The smoke was dangerous to environment. The city corporation should take steps to avoid such incidents in future.

A representative of the outsourced agency told the judge that initially the fire was noticed on the premises of the unit and later it spread due to the wind. The shed and the machines got burnt in the fire.

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