Fire at BBMP office razes khata files

Fire at BBMP office razes khata files

Fire at BBMP office razes khata files

Around 6:30 am, BBMP officials at the zonal control room noticed smoke emanating from one of the windows of the Assistant Revenue Officer (ARO) office on the first floor. Immediately, the control room alerted the Fire and Emergency Services which took hours to bring the blaze under control.

The incident occured just days before the office was to  be shifted. It was supposed to be shifted last month but was delayed for want of electrification and other amenities.
The BBMP office was in a shambles on Thursday when a fire set ablaze documents related to khata transfers, bifurcation and other files of eight wards in the Mahalakshmipuram Assembly constituency.

Zonal Joint Commissioner V P Ikkeri conceded that the office lacked any hand-held fire extinguishers. Of the 11,000 files lost, 6,039 were related to wards under the Nagapura ARO and 5,153 under the Mahalakshmipura ARO. Although, officials indicated that a short circuit could have been the culprit, they did not rule out a mischief theory.

While most of the partially burnt documents found scattered on the ground pertained to khata transfer and property tax assets below Rs 1,000, those that escaped the blaze were documents related to the electoral list of citizens from the wards. “Most of the files were old and had been bundled to be shifted to the record rooms,” an official said.
Senior officials, including the Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), played down the incident, saying: “The files can be recovered as most of them are digitised.”

The Palike claims that at least 75 per cent of the records at each of the 64 ARO offices were digitised and scanned on priority. BBMP West Zone Joint Commissioner (West Zone) VP Ikkeri said that “the master copy of the files are at the head office and that there were also backups on their server.”

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