In a massive fire that broke out in Shankar Nagar slums under ward 76, as many as nine slums turned to ashes on Sunday, rendering many families homeless. Most of the people who lived in this area worked as daily wage labourers. At the time of the incident, habitants of the shanties were present and managed to save themselves due to which no one was killed or injured. Local MLA Vishwas Sarang and Congress District President Kailash Mishra also visited the spot.
The fire broke out at around 11 am and on receiving the information, fire tenders from four fire stations were pressed into action to douse the flames and it took an hour to douse the fire, but it had gutted these shanties to ashes and the belongings of the dwellers worth about Rs 3 to 4 lakh were destroyed. It claimed life savings of many families, who claim to have stored all their income inside their houses. The inferno turned children’s school bags, medicines, grocery items, electronic items and other household items into ashes. “We lost everything in fire. Now we have to start life from zero. Somehow, we were managing the family affairs,” the affected families chorused while sharing their plight. The angry residents also pelted stones at the fire tenders as they reached the spot late even after being informed timely. On the other hand, slum dwellers were irked with MPEB as even when the electricity supply lines broke down, even the power supply department took no action when informed.
The area is dotted with as many as 1,000 slums and had the fire not been doused on time, a disaster was inevitable as it was Sunday and children were also at home, who also ran for their lives. A cylinder was found leaking in the area, but was soon thrown away, else there would have been a blast in the area. According to Fire Department, the teams from Fatehgarh, Chola Mandir, Old categorised market and Gandhi Nagar were pressed into action and total four fire tenders and two tankers battled for an hour to douse the flames. The Shankar Nagar and Udiya Basti are located alongside and have over 1,000 slums. On Sunday, at around 11 am, when some children were burning a lamp, the fire broke out, but the real reason will be probed later, said Chola Mandir SHO Radheshyam Renger. Fire fighter Pankaj Yadav said, the reason of fire was not known, but they doused the flames within an hour.
He further said that no one sustained any injury in the fire, while nine houses were totally damaged. “We arrived and ensured the fire does not grip other houses that were around, as there were over thousand slums.” It was total chaos in the locality. People from all sections of society came forward to save the slum-dwellers at this misfortune. Besides, BMC team swung into action, shifting the affected slum-dwellers to safer place and made arrangement of drinking water, food, tea, breakfast.