Shastri Market in Chandigarh Sec 22: Fire tragedy waiting to happen

With not a single fire safety arrangement at the market where even corridors and the walking space has been encroached upon by vendors, the authorities seem to have left people to their fate.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published:October 26, 2016 4:36 am

CLOSELY SET up kiosks, narrow gullies and teeming crowds elbowing their way through suffocating lanes — the Sector 22 Shastri Market is a fire disaster waiting to happen.

With not a single fire safety arrangement at the market where even corridors and the walking space has been encroached upon by vendors, the authorities seem to have left people to their fate.

Shopkeepers said the civic body was least bothered about the safety of people and if a fire broke out, a fire tender would not even be able to enter the area.

“Thousands of people visit this market and in case of any accident, there is going to be a huge loss of life because there is not even a single fire safety arrangement. The fire department should have taken note of it, especially during these festive days,” said Vishu, a shopkeeper.

Charanjiv Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said that the traders were helpless.

“We had requested the administration and Municipal Corporation that at least vendors should not encroach on the corridors as there is hardly any space to even walk. The administration should make some fire arrangements there from now itself,” said Charanjiv.

However, other than small vendors, even shopkeepers have extended their shops by putting tables in the corridors.

The situation in the markets of sectors 15, 19 and 18 is similar as there is no fire safety arrangement. Here at some places, the shopkeepers have even started selling crackers. To sell crackers, a shopkeeper has to ensure that he has got two fire extinguishers, two drums of water and 25 sacks of sand.

Contrary to the claims of Mayor Arun Sood, shopkeepers here have extended their stalls to the corridors.
Sood had claimed that this time, nobody would be allowed to encroach on the corridors.