Mantralaya fire: Restoration work in full swing

The debris removal operation has been completed upto the fifth floor of the Mantralaya.

Mumbai: The debris removal operation has been completed upto the fifth floor of the Mantralaya here and de-watering and rain-proofing of damaged sections have commenced in the fire-ravaged structure.

Around 60 trucks of debris was taken away from the State Secretariat, where a massive fire gutted top four floors of the main building on Thursday, claiming five lives and leaving 16 injured.

The departments operating in the Annexe building have become fully functional from on Monday.

Departments on the ground, first and second floors of the main building are functional from today with structural and electrical clearance, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.

The total area damaged was 90,000 sq ft (approx) and alternative accommodation in South Mumbai has been identified and concerned departments will start functioning there within 15-30 days.

The space available include MTNL, Cuff Parade - (Home Dept will be shifted here), MTNL, Cooperage - 49200 sqft- (Health & UDD Dept), World Trade Centre - 42,500 sqft - (Revenue and Forest Dept and Home Dept and other affected departments). Other government offices have to relocated to the New Administrative Building.

All restoration works will take 5-6 months including civil and electrical works, Chavan said.

Maharashtra has created a mirror image of all its government data in alternative digital archives to ensure disaster data recovery. The document journey management system (DGMS) data has already helped Mantralaya to track all existing files and references.

Giving details, Chavan said the total current files are 5.86 lakh. Active Processes - 5.5 lakhs; Pending references - 16.44 lakhs; Archived references - 30 lakhs.

All officers have been given this list to trace the files which have been lost.

Chavan said all electronic data base are safe. A team led by Prof Ravi Sinha of the National Disaster Management Authority undertook a rapid structural safety audit on Saturday and post inspection they were of the opinion that no major structural damage has been caused to the building which still remains sound and safe.

Re-electrification, removal of newly added steel structures on 7th floor, and inclusion of fire safety features like fire resistant coating to partitions, electric ducts and insertion of concrete blocks between office spaces to stop spread of fire is also being worked upon.

Space for reconstruction of files has been made available in Worli Dairy.

Retired officers like retired Desk officers, Under Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries will be appointed to reconstruct data as Mantralaya is a institutional memory system and needs to be revived through retired officers who have served for long.

Ministers have been advised to meet visitors at their residence or at Vidhan Bhavan only.

The Director, Archives and their Team is working on restoration of semi-charred, wet files through specialised techniques.

PWD has on a war footing completed the removal of debris, mopping of floors to remove water, restoration of Electric supply with the help of BEST/Energy. Final trials of operations of lifts are being made.

The National Emblem has been restored and the interiors of the main Building have been painted and restored to normalcy. No one is allowed beyond the fourth floor.


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