The repairing work that was underway in the Anchored Houseboat in Chapora was gutted in a fire. The fire was so fierce that the workers jumped into the river to save their lives while the houseboat had started drifting towards Siolim while on fire and it could not be saved from getting almost smoked off.
According to the reports, it is an act complete negligence as the houseboat was under renovation while it was anchored in the river when it should have been anchored at the ship repair workshop for the work of renovation.
There were no safety measures taken while doing the work of welding and carpentry, said the sources and the fire were resulted due to the suspected short circuit. How the authorities can allow such irresponsible work to go on without permissions?
The report published in TOI staled that the houseboat anchored in Chapora River off Chopdem was gutted after it caught fire on Friday morning. No casualty was reported in the incident.
Sources said that the incident took place at 9.40 a.m. but there is no clarity as to how the boat caught o fire. One version is that it caught fire as welding work was o while others suspect the cause t be a short-circuit.
Losses worth Rs 50 lakh have been estimated, sources said. The cause of the fire is being ascertained, an official said.
The police informed that there were six carpenters doing renovation work onboard during the incident, who jumped off when the boat caught on fire.
The carpenters said they first noticed the fire after witnessing smoke on the upper deck. They attempted to douse the fire by using an extinguisher, but by then it spread rapidly and they had to jump overboard.
The houseboat owned by Sulek Agrawal has five rooms, and the first floor served as a bar and restaurant, an official of the fire services said.
Sources said that after the boat caught on fire, it started drifting towards Siolim, as the rope tied to the anchor burned off. Pernem fire services got the information at 10.15 is. Firemen from Pernem and Mapusa fire stations extinguished the fire using two Floto-pumps, and a local boat to gain access to the vessel.
Water had to be sprayed from the Siolim-Chopdem Bridge but was not of much help. They then pressed the Floto-pump into service.
A local, Sanjay Kole said, “When I complained about such boats operating here in the past, I was the one who ended up in trouble on account of the power and influence wielded by these boat owners. Are marine regulations in place? Even after repeated complaints, authorities are not taking any action.” He further stated that such boats should be anchored at the docs.