Windmill allegedly causes 2,000-acre fire in Kutch

Ahmedabad: A fire, allegedly caused by a short circuit in a high-tension wire connected to a windmill owned by Suzlon Energy Ltd, spread over more than 2,000 acres in Kutch on Tuesday, destroying grass, shrubs and indigenous trees as well as killing local fauna that included hundreds of rabbits, foxes and peacocks.

The fire at Vamoti Moti village in Kutch’s Abdasa taluka was not brought under control until 9pm, said residents of the area.

“Since noon, more than 60-70 villagers have been engaged in dousing the fire using the traditional method—covering it with green plants and sand. Then, we use tractors to ensure it doesn’t spread further,” deputy sarpanch Pravinsinh Jadeja told First India.

“We fear that in addition to fodder for our cattle, more shrubs, trees and wildlife, including our national bird, the peacock, have been lost,” Jadeja said, adding, “This happened because of a spark in the wire of a windmill.”
Jeram Maheshwari, a resident of Vamoti Moti village, said, “We have tried to douse the fire, but there is only so much we can do.”

Maheshwari said neither the village panchayat nor the nagar palika has firefighters. “The one private company has firefighters, but that is around 150km away,” he added.

Suzlon denied it was responsible for the fire. “We have checked at our end. The fire wasn’t caused by our windmills. It’s an accusation by the villagers,” Murali Pillai, the company’s chief of corporate communications, told First India.