Kochi: A fire that broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant, created a blanket of smoke over this city, prompting Mayor Soumini Jain and Congress legislator P.T. Thomas on Saturday to demand a probe.
The cause of the fire that broke out near here on Friday is yet to be deduced. Fire tenders were still trying to douse the flames, Jain told the media on Saturday.
"When I came to open my shop around 9 a.m., there was smoke all around. Breathing was difficult. You can smell the smoke. We were told that this occurred because of the fire at the waste plant," said a shopkeeper at Vytilla.
The worst affected places include Panampally Nagar, Maradu and Vytilla, where residents are having trouble breathing ever since the blaze broke out.
"The plastic waste caught fire and it is taking time to be put out. What has baffled us is that the fire broke out from all four sides of the accumulated waste," Jain said.
"We suspect there has been foul play; only a probe will identify the real cause," she added.
"There was a huge fire at a footwear warehouse here on Wednesday and now this one. A probe has to be launched to find out if there was any foul play as this could be a ploy to divert attention from other issues," Thomas said.
State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan has asked Ernakulam District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla to submit a report.
"We have been trying to control the fire but it is difficult to go near the blaze," the Collector said assuring that the mission will be accomplished by later on Saturday.